The Bystander Effect: do rotavirus infections lead to type I diabetes?


Research, lead by Associate Professor Barbara Coulson of Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, has found a co-relation between rotavirus and Type I diabetes. Both diseases are usually diagnosed in children. Rotavirus is a deadly form of sever diarrhoea, whilst Type I diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic condition which results from the insufficient production insulin by the pancreas or simply a complete lack of insulin production.

While studying how rotavirus infection triggers autoimmune diseases in mice, the researchers discovered the “bystander effect” of rotavirus infection. The findings suggest that the virus provokes the immune system, which then attacks the insulin-producing cells in pancreas. 

Read more about this study here

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