Juvenile Diabetes May Be Triggered During Pregnancy By Viral Infections

Prof. Zvi Laron Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel Head of the WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Diabetes in YouthMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Zvi Laron
Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology
TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine,
Director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit
Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel
Head WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Diabetes in Youth

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? What was most surprising about results?

Prof. Laron: The main findings were the finding of specific antibodies to the pancreatic insulin secreting beta cells together with antibodies against rota-virus in both the mother at delivery and in the newborn’s cord blood. We were not surprised, but pleased to find proof to our hypothesis that part, if not the majority of childhood onset Type 1 (autoimmune diabetes) starts “in utero”.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Prof. Laron: Before definitely proven by enlarging the number of findings, the clinicians could advise mothers to be healthy when conceiving and may refrain to do so during a viral epidemic.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Prof. Laron: When definitely proven and ascertaining whether one or more viruses are being  involved I foresee as a solution for primary prevention of childhood Type 1 diabetes, pregestational vaccination of the mother.

Citation:

M. Shulman, C. S. Hampe, A. Ben-Haroush, Y. Perepliotchikov, F. Vaziri-Sani, S. Israel, K. Miller, H. Bin, B. Kaplan, Z. Laron. Antibodies to islet cell autoantigens, rotaviruses and/or enteroviruses in cord blood and healthy mothers in relation to the 2010-2011 winter viral seasons in Israel: a pilot study. Diabetic Medicine, 2014; 31 (6): 681 DOI: 10.1111/dme.12404