Type 1 Diabetes may be caused by a common virus

A new study conducted in the UK has linked Diabetes type 1 to a common group of viruses, the enterovirus, that commonly cause colds and diarrhoea.

The research was carried out at the Peninsula Medical School in south west England, the University of Brighton and the Department of Pathology at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

The researchers  looked at 72 pancreases from people who had Type 1 diabetes and found signs of enteroviruses in 60 per cent.

A spokesperson from Diabetes UK said

“This research is a big step forward in our understanding of potential triggers for Type 1 diabetes,” said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK.

“We’ve known for some time that Type 1 diabetes cannot be explained by genetics alone and that other environmental triggers may also play a part.

“This research has identified the presence of a type of virus in pancreatic beta cells of a proportion of people who had Type 1 diabetes that appears to be rare in people without the condition.

The study was published in the journal ‘Diabetologia’.

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