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Post-Campylobacter Guillain Barré Syndrome in the USA: secondary analysis of surveillance data collected during the 2009–2010 novel Influenza A (H1N1) vaccination campaign

  • A. Laufer Halpin (a1) (a2), W. Gu (a1), M.E. Wise (a3), J. J. Sejvar (a4), R. M. Hoekstra (a1) and B. E. Mahon (a1)...

Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS), which is triggered by autoantibodies produced in response to antigenic stimuli such as certain infections and vaccinations, is the most common cause of acute flaccid paralysis worldwide. Campylobacter, the most common bacterial enteric infection in the USA, is reported to be the most commonly diagnosed antecedent of GBS, yet little information is available about the risk of post-Campylobacter GBS. Data collected through active, population-based surveillance in the Emerging Infections Program during the 2009–2010 novel Influenza A (H1N1) vaccination campaign allowed us to compare confirmed and probable GBS cases to non-cases to determine whether antecedent Campylobacter infection (or a diarrhoeal illness consistent with campylobacteriosis) was more common among cases and to assess the risk of GBS following Campylobacter infection. We estimate that 8–12% of GBS cases in the USA are attributable to Campylobacter infection (or a diarrhoeal illness consistent with campylobacteriosis), with 434–650 cases of post-diarrhoeal GBS annually and about 49 cases of GBS per 100 000 Campylobacter infections. These results provide updated estimates for post-Campylobacter GBS incidence in the USA and highlight an important benefit of effective measures to prevent Campylobacter infections.

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Author for correspondence: A. Laufer Halpin, E-mail:
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Epidemiology & Infection
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