Article

Diabetologia

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 1280-1287

Relationship between the incidence of type 1 diabetes and maternal enterovirus antibodies: time trends and geographical variation

  • H. ViskariAffiliated withJDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in FinlandDepartment of Virology, University of Tampere, Medical School Email author 
  • , J. LudvigssonAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, Linköping University
  • , R. UiboAffiliated withDepartment of Immunology, University of Tartu
  • , L. SalurAffiliated withDepartment of Immunology, University of Tartu
  • , D. MarciulionyteAffiliated withInstitute of Endocrinology, Kaunas University of Medicine
  • , R. HermannAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, University of Pécs
  • , G. SolteszAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, University of Pécs
  • , M. FüchtenbuschAffiliated withDiabetes Research Institute
  • , A.-G. ZieglerAffiliated withDiabetes Research Institute
    • , A. KondrashovaAffiliated withJDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in FinlandDepartment of Virology, University of Tampere, Medical SchoolDepartment of Paediatrics, University of Petrozavodsk
    • , A. RomanovAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, University of Petrozavodsk
    • , B. KaplanAffiliated withDepartment of Gynaecology, Beilinson Hospital
    • , Z. LaronAffiliated withJDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in FinlandEndocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit, Schneider Children’s Medical Centre, Tel Aviv University
    • , P. KoskelaAffiliated withJDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in FinlandNational Public Health Institute
    • , T. VesikariAffiliated withDepartment of Virology, University of Tampere, Medical School
    • , H. HuhtalaAffiliated withJDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in FinlandTampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere
    • , M. KnipAffiliated withJDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in FinlandHospital for Children and Adolescents, University of HelsinkiDepartment of Paediatrics, Tampere University Hospital
    • , H. HyötyAffiliated withJDRF Center for Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes in FinlandDepartment of Virology, University of Tampere, Medical SchoolDepartment of Clinical Microbiology, Center for Laboratory Medicine, Tampere University Hospital

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

We have previously observed an inverse correlation between the incidence of type 1 diabetes and enterovirus infections in the background population. The aim of this study was to analyse whether maternal enterovirus antibody status, which reflects both the frequency of enterovirus infections and the protection conferred by the mother on the offspring, also correlates with the incidence of type 1 diabetes.

Methods

Maternal enterovirus antibodies were analysed from serum samples taken from pregnant women between 1983 and 2001 in Finland and Sweden using enzyme immunoassay and neutralisation assays. Comparable samples were also taken between 1999 and 2001 in countries with a lower incidence of diabetes (Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Russia).

Results

A clear decrease was observed in maternal enterovirus antibody levels over the past 20 years (p<0.0001). The frequency of enterovirus antibodies was higher in countries with a low or intermediate incidence of type 1 diabetes compared with high-incidence countries (p<0.0001).

Conclusions/interpretation

These findings are in line with our previous observations supporting the hypothesis that a low frequency of enterovirus infection in the background population increases the susceptibility of young children to the diabetogenic effect of enteroviruses.

Keywords

EIA Enterovirus Environment Immunity Maternal antibody Neutralisation assay Population Type 1 diabetes