Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an acute demyelinating peripheral neuropathy, may be triggered by an acute infectious illness; infection with Campylobacter jejuni is the most frequently reported antecedent event. In Japan, O:19 is the most common serotype among GBS-associated C. jejuni strains. To determine whether serotype O:19 occurs among GBS-associated strains in the United States and Europe, we serotyped seven such strains and found that two (29%) of seven GBS-associated strains from patients in the United States and Germany were serotype O:19. To determine whether GBS- associated strains may be resistant to killing by normal human serum (NHS), we studied the serum susceptibility of 17 GBS- and 27 enteritis-associated strains (including many O:19 and non-O: 19 strains) using C. jejuni antibody positive (pool 1) or negative (pool 2) human serum. Using pool 1 serum we found that one (6%) of 18 serotype O:19 strains compared with 11 (42%) of 26 non-O:19 strains were killed; results using pool 2 serum were nearly identical. Finally, 8 O: 19 and 8 non-O: 19 strains were not significantly different in their ability to bind complement component C3. Serotype O:19 C. jejuni strains were overrepresented among GBS-associated strains in the United States and Germany and were significantly more serum-resistant than non-O:19 strains. The mechanism of this resistance appears unrelated to C3 binding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases