According to many observations, certain virus infections may play a part in the autoimmune attack that leads to type 1 diabetes. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and their Finnish colleagues have now produced a vaccine for these viruses in the hope that it could provide protection against the disease. The study is published today in the scientific journal Science Advances.
While an estimated 50,000 Swedes live with type 1 diabetes (sometimes known as juvenile diabetes), the causes of the disease remain unknown. There is a genetic component, but also environmental factors are needed for the disease to develop. One such factor believed to be significant in type 1 diabetes is infections caused by a very common group of enteroviruses. The sub-group in question is the Coxsackie B (CVB) family and it comprises of six strains that can give rise to the common cold. However, CVBs can also cause more serious infections leading to diseases including myocarditis and meningitis.
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