Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 601–607

Human Intestinal Microbiota and Type 1 Diabetes

Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes (D Dabelea, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11892-013-0409-5

Cite this article as:
Vaarala, O. Curr Diab Rep (2013) 13: 601. doi:10.1007/s11892-013-0409-5


The role of intestinal microbiota in immune-mediated diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, has deservedly received a lot of attention. Evidently, changes in the intestinal microbiota are associated with type 1 diabetes as demonstrated by recent studies. Children with beta-cell autoimmunity have shown low abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria and increase in the abundance of members of the Bacteroidetes phylum in fecal microbiota. These alterations could explain increased gut permeability, subclinical small intestinal inflammation, and dysregulation of oral tolerance in type 1 diabetes. However, these studies do not provide evidence of the causative role of the gut microbiota in the development of beta-cell autoimmunity, yet. In animal models, the composition of gut microbiota modulates the function of both innate and adaptive immunity, and intestinal bacteria are regulators of autoimmune diabetes. Thus, prevention of type 1 diabetes could, in the future, be based on the interventions targeted to the gut microbiota.


Beta-cell autoantibodies Bacteroides Bifidobacteria Akkermansia Clostridium Human intestinal microbiota Type 1 diabetes 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Vaccination and Immune ProtectionNational Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland