Viral Infection Linked To T1 Diabetes In Children
By Mike Boyle

Researchers say they have discovered a link between infection with enteroviruses - which can thrive in the gastrointestinal tract and can cause viral meningitis - and diagnoses of type 1 diabetes in children, according to the results of a small study released at the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting in San Diego on May 24.

"We studied the possible association of enterovirus infections with type 1 diabetes at the time of diagnosis," Antonio Toniolo, MD, professor of medical microbiology, University of Insubria, Verese, Italy, said in a press release. "Literature suggests that infection by different entroviruses may be linked to the early stages of diabetes."

Toniolo and his team tested the blood of 112 children aged between 2 and 16 years at the time they were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to see if it contained enteroviral DNA.

The researchers compared their blood with that of children without diabetes. They found low-level enteroviral infectivity in 83 percent of the diabetes patients, compared with 7 percent of children with no diabetes.

Toniolo said the research could lead to a better understanding of the causes of type 1 diabetes and perhaps result in improved prevention and treatment.

Read the American Society for Microbiology`s press release on the study here, plus you can look over an abstract of the study results here.

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Originally posted May 26, 2010.