Diabetes Type 1: Vaccine is On Its Way!
Enteroviruses are commonly encountered viruses especially in infants and children. In addition to colds and flu, some of the nastiest ones cause polio and are linked to myocarditis (chronic heart failure) and meningitis.
Researchers have thought for years there is a link between between enteroviruses and Type 1 diabetes. In Finland, researchers have been exploring this connection for approximately 25 years. Their long journey has lead to the identification of a viral group that can trigger Type 1 Diabetes.
This form of diabetes, different from the type 2 variety, is a decreased ability to produce the insulin used by the body’s cells to absorb glucose out of the blood. Complications of the disease, which can result when it goes undiagnosed or is ineffectively managed, can range from heart attack to stroke, amputation, kidney failure, and even blindness..
Because of identifying this particular pathogen, a prototype vaccine has been developed that could prevent type 1 diabetes in children. And, it’s ready to start clinical trials in 2018. It’s not a cure, and it won’t eliminate the disease altogether, but the vaccine is expected to provide immunity against a virus that has been found to trigger the body’s defenses into attacking itself, potentially reducing the number of new diabetes type 1 each year.
It’s not a cure, and it won’t eliminate the disease altogether, but the vaccine is expected to provide immunity against a virus that has been found to trigger the body’s defences into attacking itself, potentially reducing the number of new diabete each year.
There are three phases for human critical trials planned. 1) Study a smal group of adults to determine vaccine’s safety. 2) Next, the vaccine will be tested on a group of children. 3) Finally, evaluation of vaccine results to confirm it can successfully prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes. The last phase could take up to eight years.
And there’s a bonus, according to Hyoty. “The vaccine could “protect from infections caused by enteroviruses such as the common cold, myocarditis, meningitis and ear infections.”
This discovery may end the disease but it certainly provides hope for the future.