Lipopolysaccharides from Campylobacter jejuni associated with Guillain- Barre syndrome patients mimic human gangliosides in structure

G. O. Aspinall, S. Fujimoto, A. G. McDonald, H. Pang, L. A. Kurjanczyk, J. L. Penner

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Lipopolysaccharides extracted from Campylobacter jejuni serostrains (serotype reference strains) for serotypes O:4 and O:19 were found to have core oligosaccharides with terminal structures resembling human gangliosides G(M1) and G(D1a). High-molecular-weight molecules that reflected the presence of O chains were shown in immunoblots to be immunologically specific for each serostrain. The O:19 antiserum also reacted strongly with core oligosaccharides of two isolates from patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), but the banding patterns and molecular structures were different from those of the O:19 serostrain. A neuraminobiose disaccharide unit is attached to the terminal Gal residue in one isolate, and the other isolate lacked terminal N-acetyl glucosamine and galactose with attached sialic acid so that the sialic acid residues were present in a neuraminobiose unit linked to the only remaining galactose. Analysis of the high-M(r) lipopolysaccharides of the O:19 serostrain and the two isolates from GBS patients revealed the presence of a hyaluronic acid-like polymer with disaccharide-repeating units consisting of β-D-glucuronic acid amidated with 2-amino-2-deoxyglycerol and N-acetyl glucosamine. The results confirm a potential role for the core oligosaccharides in the etiology of GBS but also suggest that the O-chain polysaccharide may be a contributing factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2122-2125
Number of pages4
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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