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Enterovirus infections in children increase risk of type 1 diabetes

A new study claims that children diagnosed with enterovirus (EV) are 50 per cent more likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
The research, conducted by the China Medical University in Taiwan and published in Diabetologia, also found that the older the child when diagnosed with EV, the greater the risk.
Tsai Chung-Li, lead author of the study, said that “Though the cue for genetic predisposition has been elucidated, evidence also points to involvement of enterovirus (EV) infection, including viruses such as poliovirus, Coxsackievirus A, Coxsackievirus B, and echovirus.”
In other words, the study reveals that there are factors beyond genetic predisposition in the development of type 1 diabetes.
Chung-Li also said that the research explains the rapidly increasing levels of type 1 diabetes in regions like African, Asia, and South American, where EV is prevalent. There is a relatively low, but quickly rising level of type 1 diabetes in Taiwa, which suggests that “the marked escalation of the said incidence in recent decades can be largely attributed to the highly endemic spread of enterovirus infection in Taiwanese children, given that there has been little gene flow and genetic drift in such a short period.”
Discovering an effective vaccine against enterovirus, therefore, could reduce the incidence of type 1 diabetes.

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