Enterovirus linked to development of type 1 diabetes

TYPE 1 diabetes is strongly associated with enterovirus infection, Australian researchers have concluded after a meta-analysis.

The infection was nearly 10 times higher in children with type 1 diabetes at diagnosis compared to healthy controls and nearly four times higher in children with pre-diabetes, they found.

Further research is needed to establish whether the infection is contributing to the unexplained rapid rise in incidence of the disease, they said.

The rise in type 1 diabetes has been too fast to be explained by genetic factors alone, suggesting environmental factors, such as drugs, toxins and viruses, could play a role.

Viruses of the enterovirus genus are proposed as the most likely viral candidates, especially serotypes like Coxsackie B virus.

Researchers from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, and Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, reviewed 26 case-controlled studies. Their findings contrasted with

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