The role of infectious pathogens in causing secondary disease is now well-established. Every time pathogens are revealed to be linked to a condition, it opens new opportunity for treatment of the said condition.
Some known virus are also associated to different forms of cancer. For instance, hepatitis B and C are linked to liver cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked to cancers of the cervix, anus, oral cavity. These being mentioned have been treatable because of early discoveries that these are type of cancers are associated with bacteria.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been thought to be caused by a malfunction of the immune system after a response from a pathogen infestation. Children developing the disease after an infection is common. T1D is still known to be an autoimmune disorder. Only until now, scientists presented the evidence of its pathogen link.
A new study at the University of Tampere in Finland offers additional evidence of the T1D-pathogen theory. The researchers of the said study examined stool samples from two groups of children: those who tested positive for pancreatic islet antibodies and those in the control group, demonstrated antibodies only for enterovirus, which is a type of RNA virus.
The link between T1D and enterovirus is strong that in 282 children of the control group, 169 tested positive for enterovirus. But, of the 129 children who tested positive for islet antibodies, 108 of them later developed enterovirus infections
"The present study suggests that enterovirus infections in young children are associated with the appearance of islet autoantibodies with a time lag of about 1 year. This finding supports previous observations from other prospective studies suggesting that enterovirus infections may play a role in the initiation of the beta cell-damaging process," explained Dr. Hanna Honkanen who led the study.
The study is published
the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
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