Enteroviruses and Type I Diabetes Mellitus

These findings could cause one to think proactively; i.e. vaccination. However, there are over 100 different strains of enteroviruses (2), and researchers have not narrowed exactly which of the 100 strains are more likely associated with the development of diabetes, either type 1 or 2. The only strain named to date is the coxsackievirus B4 (4), but, like similar studies, did not find an absolute causal relationship between the infection and development of T1DM. Instead, the study did solidify the argument enterovirus infection does cause beta-cell lysis, molecular mimicry, ‘bystander activation’ and viral persistence (4).

Having not yet found the cause and, more importantly, the cure for this life-threatening chronic disease, JDRF and the rest of the scientific world remain hopeful future research into enteroviruses and their role in T1DM development may eventually provided definitive answers. When asked about the study, “Enteroviruses May Play Role in Type 1 Diabetes” Karen Addington, Chief Executive for JDRF, commented “JDRF passionately believes that research such as this brings us a step closer to improving treatment and eventually curing this condition” (3). Hopefully, research may continue to make large strides, as diabetes diagnosis continues to rise on a global scale at an alarming rate.


A virus that attacks the beta cells and causes a mutation that is repeated into all future cells when they devide. This mutation allarms the immune system and causes the white blood cells to attack in order to protect the body. Because the cell its self is changed and every cell is a replica of the previous the mutation will never go away. However the virus is only short time before it dyes, is killed by the body, or leaves the body…



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