Jan 06, 2003
Mounting evidence points to an association between enterovirus infection and induction of beta-cell autoimmunity.
In the latest report, researchers used data from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) study to compare the frequency of enterovirus infection in 41 children observed from birth who became positive for diabetes-associated autoantibodies with that of 196 closely matched control children who remained autoantibody-negative.
Dr. Kimmo Salminen from the University of Turku and colleagues used serology and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to detect enterovirus infections in serum samples obtained every 3 to 6 months beginning at birth.
According to a report in the January issue of the Journal of Medical Virology, they detected enterovirus infections more often in case children than in control children (p = 0.004). Average enterovirus antibody levels were also higher in cases than in controls (p = 0.003).
Of note, there was a "clear clustering" of enterovirus infections just prior to the detection of autoantibodies," the team reports. Fifty-one percent of case children had an enterovirus infection in the 6 months preceding the first detection of autoantibodies compared with 28% of control children.
This finding, the authors say, supports a causal relationship between enterovirus infection and initiation of beta-cell autoimmunity.
J Med Virol 2003;69:91-98.
Reuters Health Information 2003.
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