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Epidemiology of Guillain–Barré Syndrome in Aruba

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  • Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Centre (VUMC), Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Neurology, Dr Horacio E. Oduber Hospital, Oranjestad, Aruba; Department of Internal Medicine, Dr Horacio E. Oduber Hospital, Oranjestad, Aruba; Department of Microbiology, Landslaboratorium, Oranjestad, Aruba; Department of Virology, University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht, The Netherlands; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

The epidemiology of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in tropical areas is different compared with developed countries. We investigated the epidemiology of GBS on the Caribbean island of Aruba. Data were collected retrospectively from all 36 patients hospitalized with GBS between 2003 and 2011 in Aruba. We observed a seasonal distribution of GBS cases with a peak in February. The incidence rate (IR) fluctuated heavily between individual years. The overall IR was 3.93/100,000, which is higher than that observed in developed countries. Serological studies indicated a possible relation of GBS cases with dengue virus infections. We also observed a relation between the annual number of dengue cases in Aruba and the number of GBS cases in the same year. We conclude that the epidemiology of GBS in tropical areas can be different from temperate climate regions and that dengue may be a trigger for developing GBS.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Franciska S. T. Suryapranata, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Centre (VUMC), De Boelelaan 1117, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: fsuryapranata@gmail.com

Authors' addresses: Franciska S. T. Suryapranata and C. Wim Ang, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Centre (VUMC), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, E-mails: f.suryapranata@gmail.com and w.ang@vumc.nl. Luis L. Chong, Department of Microbiology, Landslaboratorium, Oranjestad, Aruba, E-mail: luis@landslab.org. Jean-Luc Murk, Department of Virology, University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht, The Netherlands, E-mail: j.murk@umcutrecht.nl. Jaime Falconi, Department of Neurology, Dr Horacio E. Oduber Hospital, Oranjestad, Aruba, E-mail: jrfalconi@hotmail.com. Ralph M. H. G. Huits, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, E-mail: ralph.huits@gmail.com.

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