Abstract We describe a patient with acute oropharyngeal–facial diplegia, tongue palsy and albuminocytological dissociation following upper respiratory tract infection. Electrophysiological abnormalities in blink reflex suggested a brainstem lesion. High titers of anti-GM3, GD1a and GT1b IgG class serum antibodies were initially detected. Absorption studies indicated that antibodies were directed to a common terminal epitope NeuNAc(alfa 2–3)Gal. This novel antiganglioside antibody specificity may play a role in this unusual regional form of acute bulbar palsy of possible central origin. These data are supportive for extending the panel of antiganglioside specificities with anti-GM3.