Children’s virus may speed up diabetes onset

A virus that commonly causes diarrhoea in children may accelerate the development of type 1 diabetes, new research shows.

The study found the rotavirus provokes a strong activation of the immune system in mice, which causes the immune system to attack the body’s healthy cells – including insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Barbara Coulson said the same process could operate following rotavirus infection in humans, and lead to a quicker progression of type 1 diabetes.

The findings may lead to preventative treatment for children at risk of the disease, including treatments that dampen the immune response from rotavirus infection.

Read more at University of Melbourne