Enteroviruses strongly associated with Type 1 Diabetes

Dolphin

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[Nothing to do with ME/CFS except that enteroviruses have also been associated with ME/CFS but research into them has been neglected (it seems to me). (So if there was to be an increased focus on them it could potentially help us).]

BMJ Press releases Monday 31 January to Friday 4 February 2011

(1)Common cold-like virus strongly linked to diabetes

(Research: Enterovirus infection and type 1 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational molecular studies)
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/doi/10.1136/bmj.d35
(Editorial: Enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes)
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/doi/10.1136/bmj.c7072

People with diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have a cold-like enterovirus infection, according to a new study published on bmj.com today.

The study found a strong association between enterovirus infection and type 1 diabetes in what claims to be the first review of molecular studies in this area.

Type 1 diabetes is thought to come from a mixture of genetic predisposition, the immune system and environmental factors. Enteroviruses are common viruses especially found in infants and children, which can lead to cold or flu symptoms, fever, muscle aches, a rash, or in more severe cases, meningitis.

Recently, there has been a sharp rise in the incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes worldwide, especially in those under the age of five.

Some previous studies have found a link between enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes, but findings have been contradictory and no reviews of molecular studies have been carried out.

So, researchers from Australia reviewed 24 studies and two abstracts involving 4,448 participants.

In these studies of enteroviruses - which are made of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and protein - researchers had measured the RNA levels or protein in the blood, stool or tissue of pre-diabetic and diabetic patients and compared them with non-diabetic patients.

The researchers found a strong association between enterovirus infection and type 1 diabetes, particularly in children.

Children with type 1 diabetes were almost 10 times more likely to have the enterovirus infection as other children. In addition, children with pre-diabetes were around three times more likely to have the infection than other children.

However, this type of observational research cannot prove cause and effect, and the researchers could not completely rule out other factors, such as genetic risk, that might have affected the relationship between infection and type 1 diabetes.
They conclude: "Larger prospective studies are needed to establish a clear temporal relation between enterovirus infection and the development of autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes."

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Didier Hober and Famara Sane from the University of Lille in France, say that enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes are clearly linked, but the mechanism is yet to be explained. They conclude: "The association between enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes opens up the possibility of developing new preventive and therapeutic strategies to fight this disease."

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Enid

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Thanks for this Dolpin - I quite agree research into enteroviruses has potential for us. In the BMJ too.