A common gastric virus may trigger diabetes, scientists have found, raising hopes that a vaccine can be developed.
Two separate teams of British researchers found strong evidence that enterovirus infection can trigger the immune reaction which leads to insulin-dependent diabetes. There was also a suggestion that viral infection may be involved in Type 2 diabetes, although how is not clear.
The virus family, which includes more than 100 different strains, can cause vomiting and diarrhoea but often produces no symptoms. By attacking insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, it is thought the viruses set off an immune response which spins out of control, leading to Type 1 diabetes.