Validation of an ELISA for the diagnosis of recent Campylobacter infections in Guillain–Barré and reactive arthritis patients


Corresponding author and reprint requests: C. W. Ang, Department of Medical Microbiology, AMC, PO Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Weeks or months following Campylobacter infection, a small proportion of infected individuals develop Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) or reactive arthritis (ReA). Stool culture for Campylobacter is often negative in these patients, and serology is therefore the method of choice for diagnosing a recent infection with Campylobacter. This study developed a capture ELISA system to detect anti-Campylobacter IgA and IgM antibodies indicative of a recent infection. The sensitivity of the assay was 82.0% in uncomplicated Campylobacter enteritis patients, 96.2% in GBS patients who were culture-positive for Campylobacter, and 93.1% in culture-positive ReA patients, with a specificity of 93.0%. The assay allows identification of Campylobacter infection in patients with post-infectious neurological and rheumatological complications.