Viral Infection during Pregnancy can Lead to Juvenile Diabetes

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 06, 2014

Viral During PregnancyThe researchers have recently found that exposure to viruses during pregnancy can lead to type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases in children.

Although the exact cause of juvenile diabetes is yet to be established by the scientists but, the new study from Tel Aviv University suggests that this disease autoimmune disease begins in the utero.

The research has shown that women who suffer from viral infection during pregnancy pass on the viruses to their genetically susceptible foetuses, initiating the development of type 1 diabetes.
Zvi Laron, Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine said "we knew that type 1 diabetes was associated with other autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto Thyroiditis, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis, so we investigated the seasonality of birth months for these respective diseases in Israel and other countries".

"We found that the seasonality of the birth of children who went on to develop these diseases did indeed differ from that of the general public.

"In further studies, we found evidence that viral infections of the mother during pregnancy induced damage to the pancreas of the mother and/or the foetus, evidenced by specific antibodies including those affecting the pancreatic cells producing insulin".

In this study the team of researchers from Israel, the University of Washington and Lund University, Sweden conducted blood tests of 107 healthy pregnant women. The tests were conducted to check for islet cell autoantibodies which are a proof of diabetes and appears years before the initial symptoms.

The researchers also tested for anti-rotavirus and anti-CoxB3 antibodies.

The results showed a significant difference between women tested in different seasons, which suggests a link to winter epidemics.

The study has been published in the journal Diabetic Medicine.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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