Enterovirus vaccine can protect against virus-induced diabetes

Scientists at the University of Tampere (Finland) and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) have demonstrated that an enterovirus vaccine can protect against virus-induced diabetes in a mouse model for Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is increasing worldwide and to date, the exact causes of the disease are not known. Enteroviruses (the most common virus affecting humans) are one of the environmental factors that have been touted as a potential cause of the disease. In this study, Stone et al. have taken an initial step to determine the involvement of these viruses through testing the efficacy of a novel prototype vaccine in preventing experimental Type 1 diabetes after enterovirus infection.

“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” says Prof. Malin Flodström-Tullberg at the Karolinska Institutet whose group were responsible for the pre-clinical studies.

The researchers are keen to continue pursuing these studies as confirmed by Dr Vesa Hytönen, who produced the prototype vaccine: “The model described in this paper provides an excellent platform to test further enterovirus vaccines which contain a greater number of potential diabetogenic viruses. 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.”

Read the original news about this study from the UTA website.