Guillain-Barré syndrome: causes, immunopathogenic mechanisms and treatment Review


  • © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Introduction: Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare disease representing the most frequent cause of acute flaccid symmetrical weakness of the limbs and areflexia usually reaching its peak within a month. The etiology and pathogenesis remain largely enigmatic and the syndrome results in death or severe disability in 9–17% of cases despite immunotherapy. Areas covered: In terms of etiology, Guillain-Barré syndrome is linked to Campylobacter infection but less than 0.1% of infections result in the syndrome. In terms of pathogenesis, activated macrophages and T cells and serum antibodies against gangliosides are observed but their significance is unclear. Expert commentary: Guillain-Barré syndrome is a heterogeneous condition with numerous subtypes and recent data point towards the role of ganglioside epitopes by immunohistochemical methods. Ultimately, the syndrome results from a permissive genetic background on which environmental factors, including infections, vaccination and the influence of aging, lead to disease.

publication date

  • 2016/11/1


  • Antibodies
  • Campylobacter Infections
  • Epitopes
  • Extremities
  • Gangliosides
  • Genetic Background
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Immunotherapy
  • Infection
  • Macrophages
  • Rare Diseases
  • Serum
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Therapeutics
  • Vaccination

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1744-666X

number of pages

  • 15

start page

  • 1175

end page

  • 1189