Can child diabetes be prevented with a vaccine?

A few weeks ago a friend of mine came from Monterrey, Mexico. We were having dinner with him and other friends from university. We're all biologists graduated from the same class. We were talking about many things in general, and one of them mentioned the fact that obesity could be caused by a virus. As interesting as it sounded, it didn't seem plausible to the rest of us.

It actually became a good reason to mock his comment, due to the overweight that many of us on that table carry. Although obesity has not been proved to be directly related to a viral infection, I just found out a report that indicates that a virus may trigger child diabetes.

Diabetes type 2, no longer referred to as late-onset diabetes because the onset age has been reduced from 40s to the teen years or less, is a serious public health concern in many countries arounf the world, especially in the 1st world countries, where that is becoming as common as a common cold.

Diabetes type 1, insulin-dependent, or juvenile insulin is also quite common around the world. And it is said that three-quarters of diabetes' cases are type 2.

But, what does this have to do with a virus, which is not alive or dead, however is a pre-life complex form of macromolecules perfectly structured and organized?

Well, it appears that enteroviruses have been found in 60% of pancreatic samples from type 1-diabetes patients and 40% of type 2-diabetes. This article was published in March, in the Diabetologia journal.

This is a great story to tell my students when teaching them about the way science funstions, and how sicientists' work is validated, cross-referenced, proved right or wrong, somtimes without any direct connection.

it appears that enteroviruses affects both types of diabetic patients intervening in immune reactions causing the disfunctionality of the insulin-producing machinery in the beta-cells of pancreas.

Another separate report in Science magazine mentions mutations in a gene that reduces the risk of diabetes, it just so happens that the gene is involved in the immune reaction to enteroviruses.

As in many cases of the intricate nature of our human physiology, no single-reason, single-effect is the cause of a major disease or condition. Multifactorial pathologies are immensely common.

The good news is that it could be possible to prepare an inactive form of the enteroviruses (one they're identified) and use it in a vaccination campaign to reduce the incidence of diabetes cases.

For more information, visit this link.

1 comment:

  1. Well I think that the diabetes is a disease that change your life 90º because you have to control every day your blood, that depend of your sugar that you have in it and take care of your food. I know that because I have two friends with that disease and I each time that we put together to go for example to MC Donald’s she have to take her own soda but have to be light. Also I think can be important to be an vaccine to reduce the incidence of diabetes.
    This lack of insulin provoke that the glucose concentrate in the blood, so that the body deprived of its primary energy source. I think that should have to be treatment for the diabetes that can control it and also help to improve your life. It's not something new for me but now I know more about the diabetes. I want to tell you something that I learn from this topic "when you eat a piece of bread that is going to circulate through the bloodstream to feed every cell in the body". I think that this topic was very interesting because teach me more about that disease


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