An enterovirus vaccine can protect against virus-induced diabetes in mouse models of type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
A prototype vaccine was shown to prevent type 1 diabetes in mice who had been infected with an enterovirus, and could mark an important development towards clinical use of vaccines in tackling type 1 diabetes in humans.
Scientists at the University of Tampere, Finland, and the Karolinska Institutet, Swede, also found that the vaccine protected against other signs of infection in mice without type 1 diabetes and had no adverse effects in vaccinated mice.
“These exciting results showing that the vaccine completely protects against virus-induced diabetes indicate the potential that such a vaccine has for elucidating the role of enteroviruses in human type 1 diabetes,” said study author Professor Malin Flodstrom-Tullberg at the Karolinska Institutet.
The CVB1 vaccine is derived from a variation of bacteria known as Coxsackievirus B, which is believed to have a role within the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. These findings now appear to provide a platform for testing further enteroviruses vaccines to combat type 1 diabetes.
“Through these proof-of-concept studies we hope to develop and experimentally validate an enterovirus vaccine similar to the commonly used poliovirus vaccine, which has the potential to establish whether enteroviruses play a role in type 1 diabetes,” said Dr Vesa Hytone, who developed the prototype vaccine.
There is currently no commercially available vaccine for humans which targets enteroviruses associated with type 1 diabetes, but researchers are optimistic greater progress can be achieved during future clinical trials in humans.
The University of Tampere will now aim to develop a vaccine that targets additional viruses implicated in type 1 diabetes.
The study findings have been published in the journal Diabetologia.

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