What are the most common etiologic triggers 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

Campylobacter jejuni is the major causative organism identified in most studies and is responsible for cases of AIDP and acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN). In one major study, previous diarrheal illness had occurred in 60% of patients with axonal GBS (by neurophysiologic testing).

Vaccinations, surgical procedures, and trauma have been reported to trigger the development of GBS. [41] Much of this information is anecdotal, although vaccination with the swine flu vaccine administered in 1976 was shown to increase the risk of contracting GBS to a small, but definable, degree. Rabies vaccine prepared from infected brain tissue also was found to have an association with GBS. Studies of other vaccines, however, have not shown a significant relationship between these drugs and GBS or have been inconclusive. [43, 49]


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