Vaccines and the risk of insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM): potential mechanism of action

Med Hypotheses. 2001 Nov;57(5):532-8. doi: 10.1054/mehy.2001.1352.


Immunization with a number of different vaccines, including live and killed vaccines, has been linked to the development of insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes in humans and animals. Multiple different mechanisms have been proposed to explain the association between vaccines and diabetes. The current paper reviews multiple different mechanisms by which vaccines are known to manipulate the immune system and can induce an autoimmune disease such as type 1 diabetes. Genetic variability may determine which of these pathways, or possible other pathways, predominate in an individual following immunization.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*


  • Vaccines