DHAKA: Rotavirus can accelerate the development of type 1 diabetes in children by getting rogue immune cells to attack the pancreas, new research in mice suggests.
The findings could help explain a link between type 1 diabetes autoimmunity in children genetically predisposed to the condition, says virologist Associate Professor Barbara Coulson, of the University of Melbourne, reports ABC news.
Rotavirus is a major cause of diarrhea in children which, if untreated, can lead to dehydration, hospitalization or even death.
Coulson and colleagues have previously discovered that children predisposed to developing type-1 diabetes autoimmunity do so faster when they are infected by rotavirus.
While one theory is that rotavirus proteins mimic those on the surface of insulin-producing cells, this has been dismissed as an inadequate mechanism to explain the link.
Now, in the journal PLOS Pathogens, Coulson and colleagues report what she says is a more likely scenario.
BDST: 0910 HRS, MAR 28, 2014