Analysing increasing trends of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) and dengue cases in Hong Kong using meteorological data

Xiujuan Tang, Shi Zhao, Alice P.Y. Chiu, Xin Wang, Lin Yang, Daihai He

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is a severe paralytic neuropathy associated with virus infections such as Zika virus and Chikungunya virus. There were also case reports of dengue fever preceding GBS. With the aim to understand the mechanisms of GBS and dengue outbreaks, this ecological study investigates the relationships between GBS, dengue, meteorological factors in Hong Kong and global climatic factors from January 2000 to June 2016. Methods: The correlations between GBS, dengue, Multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation Index (MEI) and local meteorological data were explored by Spearman’s Rank correlations and cross-correlations. Three Poisson regression models were fitted to identify non-linear associations among GBS, dengue and MEI. Cross wavelet analyses were applied to infer potential non-stationary oscillating associations among GBS, dengue and MEI. Findings and conclusion: We report a substantial increasing of local GBS and dengue cases (mainly imported) in recent year in Hong Kong. The seasonalities of GBS and dengue are different, in particular, GBS is low while dengue is high in the summer. We found weak but significant correlations between GBS and local meteorological factors. MEI could explain over 17% of dengue’s variations based on Poisson regression analyses. We report a possible non-stationary oscillating association between dengue fever and GBS cases in Hong Kong. This study has led to an improved understanding about the timing and ecological relationships between MEI, GBS and dengue.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0187830
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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