Detection of enteroviruses in stools precedes islet autoimmunity by several months: possible evidence for slowly operating mechanisms in virus-induced autoimmunity
This case–control study was nested in a prospective birth cohort to evaluate whether the presence of enteroviruses in stools was associated with the appearance of islet autoimmunity in the Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention study in Finland.
Altogether, 1673 longitudinal stool samples from 129 case children who turned positive for multiple islet autoantibodies and 3108 stool samples from 282 matched control children were screened for the presence of enterovirus RNA using RT-PCR. Viral genotype was detected by sequencing.
Case children had more enterovirus infections than control children (0.8 vs 0.6 infections per child). Time-dependent analysis indicated that this excess of infections occurred more than 1 year before the first detection of islet autoantibodies (6.3 vs 2.1 infections per 10 follow-up years). No such difference was seen in infections occurring less than 1 year before islet autoantibody seroconversion or after seroconversion. The most frequent enterovirus types included coxsackievirus A4 (28% of genotyped viruses), coxsackievirus A2 (14%) and coxsackievirus A16 (11%).
The results suggest that enterovirus infections diagnosed by detecting viral RNA in stools are associated with the development of islet autoimmunity with a time lag of several months.
KeywordsEnterovirusGenotypingRT-PCRStool samplesType 1 diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention
Islet cell antibody
Insulinoma-associated protein 2 antibodies
Viral protein 1