The study confirms that type 1 diabetes can be caused by viral infection

The study confirms that type 1 diabetes can be caused by viral infection

For more than 50 years, scientists suspected that an entheroviral infection could cause type 1 diabetes, a hypothesis confirmed by a systematic survey on the subject published in 2011 and based on modern methods of analysis. Using more sophisticated methods, the same research group carried out a new one presented at the annual meeting of the European Diabetes Association, which confirms the link between enterirus infection and type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes of type 1 are believed to be the result of complex interactions between genetic predisposition, immune system and environmental factors: in recent decades, there has been a rapid increase in childhood type 1 diabetes mellitus worldwide, especially in children under five years of age; epidemiological studies have shown that the disease is seasonal, with an increase in morbidity after each enterirus epidemic; therefore, the relationship between them is almost undeniable, although for a long time it has been controversial.

Enteroviruses are common viruses responsible for many human diseases, using molecular virological methods to study the relationship between the entheroviruses and SD1. At the time, they concluded that there was indeed a "clinical link" between them. They recently updated their study to include more data.

Vaccines to reduce diabetes

In people with CD1, the immune system attacks and destroys beta pancreas cells that produce insulin, preventing the body from producing enough hormones to properly regulate blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the heart, eyes, legs and kidneys and reduce life expectancy. High blood sugar levels can also lead to diabetic cetacidosis — excessive acidity caused by the accumulation of cetone bodies toxic to the body. Diabetical cetacidosis requires urgent medical care.

For decades, scientists have been trying to determine what makes the immune system start an attack. There is a lot of evidence to indicate a viral infection and, in particular, an entheroviral infection. Some teams are developing vaccines to prevent these infections in order to reduce diabetes.

Therefore, Sonia Isaacs of Paediatrics and Child Health of the University of New South Wales and her colleagues undertook a new systematic review and meta-analysis of existing research on the subject, which included some 1,200 participants from 60 monitored maintenance studies from the PubMed and Embase databases, the most extensive meta-analysis conducted on the subject.

Nearly half of the participants had a state that usually advanced to SD1. A current or recent viral infection could be detected by RNA or enterirus protein in blood, chair, or tissue samples.

The risk of diabetes is eight times higher.

Researchers have noticed that people with autoimmunitis in the Langergans islands are twice as likely to have a positive result for enterirus as healthy participants, and that people with SD1 were eight times more likely to have an entheroviral infection, but above all, the metaanalysis highlighted the fact that people with diabetes were 16 times more likely to have an enterirus infection during the month following the diagnosis of diabetes.

Thus, there is a clear link between the entheroviral infection and the autoimmunity of the islands or SD1. It remains to be seen how this type of viral infection can increase the risk of diabetes. One explanation can be found in genes: "", Sonia Isaacs says in his statement.

The scientist believes that the quantity, time, duration and even location of enterirus infections may also matter. Some entheroviruses strike the digestive tract. Therefore, further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms involved.

If the entheroviral infection is indeed a key factor in the incidence of the disease in persons predisposing to CD1, the prevention of these infections could lead to a significant reduction in the number of new cases.