Anti-ganglioside antibodies in patients with Zika virus infection-associated Guillain-Barré Syndrome in Brazil
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007695
Zika virus infection is associated with the development of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a neurological autoimmune disorder caused by immune recognition of gangliosides and other components at nerve membranes. Using a high-throughput ELISA, we have analyzed the anti-glycolipid antibody profile, including gangliosides, of plasma samples from patients with Zika infections associated or not with GBS in Salvador, Brazil. We have observed that Zika patients that develop GBS present higher levels of anti-ganglioside antibodies when compared to Zika patients without GBS. We also observed that a broad repertoire of gangliosides was targeted by both IgM and IgG anti-self antibodies in these patients. Since Zika virus infects neurons, which contain membrane gangliosides, antigen presentation of these infected cells may trigger the observed autoimmune anti-ganglioside antibodies suggesting direct infection-induced autoantibodies as a cause leading to GBS development. Collectively, our results establish a link between anti-ganglioside antibodies and Zika-associated GBS in patients.