Editorials

Enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c7072 (Published 03 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:c7072
  1. Didier Hober, professor of virology,
  2. Famara Sane, research assistant
  1. 1Laboratory of Virology/EA3610, University Lille 2, Faculty of Medicine, CHRU Lille, 59120 Loos-lez-Lille, France
  1. didier.hober{at}chru-lille.fr

Are clearly linked, but the mechanism is yet to be explained

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease of the endocrine pancreas that results in impairment of insulin producing pancreatic β cells. Inflammation of the pancreas correlates with the onset of symptoms, and susceptibility to the disease is influenced by genetic factors.1

Coxsackie B3/AMI Images/SPL

The incidence rate of type 1 diabetes has increased over the past 25 years at an annual rate of 3%, but this cannot be explained only by genetic modifications in the population. It has therefore been suggested that environmental factors—such as drugs; toxins; nutrients (for example, cows’ milk); and viruses like rotaviruses, adenoviruses, retroviruses, reoviruses, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, mumps virus, or rubella virus—can play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Viruses of the enterovirus genus, which have an RNA genome, are the most likely candidates, especially serotypes like coxsackie B virus belonging to the …

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