Zika infection implicated in Guillain-Barré syndrome

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Takeaway

  • A report of 3 patients links positive test results for Zika virus infection with development of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

Why this matters

  • The incidence of GBS has increased 5- to 10-fold in Suriname since the beginning of the Zika outbreak.

Key results

  • Patient 1, a man in his 40s, reported rash, red eyes, and arthralgia 7 d before GBS onset; he had a negative Zika virus urine real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) but a positive virus neutralization test and IgG antibodies against the virus in serum.
  • Patient 2, another man in his 40s, had influenza-like syndrome and brief diplopia the week before GBS onset; a urine sample tested positive for Zika virus RNA.
  • Patient 3, a man in his 60s, had no antecedent symptoms; he had a negative Zika virus urine qRT-PCR but a positive virus neutralization test and IgG antibodies against the virus in serum.
  • By 4 mo, 2 patients recovered fully, whereas 1 still could not live independently.

Study design

  • Case series of 3 patients in Suriname who developed GBS.
  • Main outcome was evidence of prior Zika virus infection.
  • Funding: Not disclosed.

Limitations

  • Findings are based on just 3 patients.
  • Presentations may differ in other populations.