Anti-ganglioside antibodies are consistently found in Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) patients from different geographical parts of the world. Several studies indicated differences in relative frequencies of anti-ganglioside reactivity and isotype distribution between GBS patients from Asia and from Europe. We investigated antibody reactivity against the gangliosides GM1, GM1b and GalNAc-GD1a in GBS patients from Japan and The Netherlands in two different laboratories. The proportion of GBS patients with anti-ganglioside antibodies did not differ between the two countries. GBS patients from The Netherlands more frequently had cross-reacting anti-GalNAc-GD1a/anti-GM1b antibodies and a stronger IgM anti-ganglioside response. Our findings indicate that geographical determined factors, dependent on either the host or the triggering infectious agent, determine the isotype distribution and fine specificity of anti-ganglioside antibodies in GBS patients.

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Journal of Neuroimmunology
Department of Neurology

Ang, W., Koga, M., Jacobs, B., Yuki, N., van der Meché, F., & van Doorn, P. (2001). Differential immune response to gangliosides in Guillain-Barré syndrome patients from Japan and The Netherlands. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 121(1-2), 83–87. doi:10.1016/S0165-5728(01)00426-X