What is the role of C jejuni infection in the pathogenesis of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)?

Updated: May 04, 2018
  • Author: Michael T Andary, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Answer

The pathophysiologic mechanism of an antecedent illness and of GBS can be typified by Campylobacter jejuni infections. [10, 11] The virulence of C jejuni is thought to be based on the presence of specific antigens in its capsule that are shared with nerves.

Immune responses directed against lipopolysaccharide antigens in the capsule of C jejuni result in antibodies that cross-react with ganglioside GM1 in myelin, resulting in immunologic damage to the peripheral nervous system. This process has been termed molecular mimicry. [12, 13]


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