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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases

versión On-line ISSN 1678-9199


TAVARES, RG et al. Enterovirus infections and type 1 diabetes mellitus: is there any relationship?. J. Venom. Anim. Toxins incl. Trop. Dis [online]. 2012, vol.18, n.1, pp.3-15. ISSN 1678-9199.

Several health organizations have classified diabetes mellitus, a metabolic syndrome, as the epidemic of the century, since it affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the top ten causes of death. Type 1 diabetes is considered to be an autoimmune disease, in which autoaggressive T cells infiltrate the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, leading to the destruction of insulin producing beta cells. The risk of the disease is modulated by genetic factors, mainly genes coding for human leukocyte antigens (HLA). However, the incidence of this disease has increased significantly during the recent decades, which cannot be explained only by genetic factors. Environmental perturbations have also been associated to the development of diabetes. Among these factors, viral triggers have been implicated; particularly enteroviruses, which have been associated to the induction of the disease. Supporting the hypothesis, numerous lines of evidence coming from mouse models and patients with this type of diabetes have shown the association. The present review aims to provide some understanding of how type 1 diabetes occurs and the possible role of enterovirus in this pathology.

Palabras clave : diabetes mellitus type I; enterovirus; autoimmune disease.

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