Researchers Find Link Between Common Rotavirus Vaccine And Reduced Risk Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children

6The decline was not observed in older kids

By researching how prevalent diabetes was in children during the year 2000 and 2015, it seemed that since 2007, there was a noticeable 14% decline in diagnosis of the disease in children up to 4 years old. The decline in type 1 diabetes diagnosis seen in young children was not observed in older children who suggested that there was something that was providing protection to younger kids and the same thing did not impact older kids because they weren’t being exposed to that protective factor.

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7What researchers have to say?

According to Doctor Kirsten Perret of Australia’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute who led the study, “We observed the decline in the rate of type 1 diabetes in children born after 2007 coincided with the introduction of the oral rotavirus vaccine onto the Australian National Immunization Program in 2007.”

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8What the research team found twenty years ago

Twenty years ago, the same research team found a connection between the rotavirus infection and immune markers of type 1 diabetes in young kids. The research team even published the study which found that those children who were genetically susceptible to diabetes were at risk of type 1 diabetes that could be triggered by viruses. They found a significant association between islet autoantibody markets and RV infection.

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9The association between RV and diabetes

The research also found a significant association between an increase in RV seroconversion and an increase in the islet antibodies which suggested that RV was triggering islet autoimmunity in children genetically susceptible to type 1 diabetes. They even discovered in mice test studies that RV could influence the immune system to attack cells responsible for insulin production in the pancreas. This was how type 1 diabetes developed.

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10Environmental factor and location could make a difference

However, new research does not say that RV could be causing type 1 diabetes because of the association.  A study in Finland did not find a link between RV and type 1 diabetes that suggested the phenomenon may not be the same in different countries  depending on environmental factors and genetic.

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Senior author professor Lena Harrison said the research will continue because more studies were needed to look at the relation of RV to type 1 diabetes. “We will be continuing this research to look more closely at the correlation, by comparing the health records of young children with or without type 1 diabetes.”

The researchers feel that there is still concrete evidence required to know whether the reduction in diabetes will be permanent or just a transient one and whether it is relevant only to Australian children. But as of now, the rotavirus is of concern and a lot is being undertaken to combat the disease.

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