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December 1987

Guillain-Barré Syndrome Following Campylobacter jejuni Enteritis

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(12):1219. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520240005002

To the Editor.  —We have treated a patient in whom the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) developed 13 days after the onset of febrile diarrhea caused by Campylobacter jejuni. In only seven previously reported cases of GBS has C jejuni been isolated from stool,1-6 and no such cases (identified either serologically or by culture) have previously been described from countries other than England. Nevertheless, recent reports from England have indicted C jejuni, on serologic evidence, as the "most common single identifiable pathogen precipitating the disease," outranking both cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus combined.7

Report of a Case.  —A 69-year-old man was admitted to a hospital near Watertown, NY, for prostatic surgery and lithotripsy, but those elective procedures were deferred when diarrhea developed, with temperature as high as 39.4°C (103°F). Campylobacter jejuni was cultured from his stool. Erythromycin therapy was instituted, and he was discharged; his diarrhea ceased in about ten days.