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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Virologic, immunologic, and genetic factors in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

A 16-month-old girl presented with an episode of fever and acute thrombocytopenic purpura caused by a Coxsackie B5 virus. On days 13 to 23, laboratory evidence of diabetes mellitus was present, followed by a 2 1/2-month remission, then by definitive insulin-dependent diabetes. The involvement of virologic, immunologic, and genetic factors in the pathophysiology was substantiated by the following data: (1) Virus-induced glucose intolerance was produced in selected mouse strains. (2) Islet-cell antibodies were found one week before onset of diabetes; however, circulating lymphocytes of the child at that time suppressed insulin release from islets in vitro. (3) Immunogenetic analysis of the child revealed the presence of high-risk genetic markers. It is suggested that the convergence of an insulotropic variant virus, genetic predisposition, and perhaps some uncontrolled adjuvant factors, e.g. steroid therapy and DPT vaccination, may have determined insular damage and anti-islet autoimmune reactions, leading to insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.[1]


  1. Virologic, immunologic, and genetic factors in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Champsaur, H.F., Bottazzo, G.F., Bertrams, J., Assan, R., Bach, C. J. Pediatr. (1982) [Pubmed]
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