Enterovirus-related type 1 diabetes mellitus and antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase in Japan

J Infect. 2004 Aug;49(2):147-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2004.01.012.


Objectives: In order to clarify the relationship between enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes mellitus in Japan we investigated enteroviral RNA in serum from children with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: We investigated enteroviral RNA in serum from children with type 1 diabetes mellitus by using highly sensitive RT-PCR. Additionally the sequences and viral loads were determined and compared with anti-coxsackie virus antibodies and anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies.

Results: RT-PCR for enterovirus was positive in 23 (37.7%) from 61 samples. The positivity had no disparity of age, but decreased by aging after the occurrence of type 1 diabetes mellitus. The sequences of the positives were similar as those of coxsackie B4. The viral loads revealed that there was no positive patient with high titers of anti-GAD antibodies.

Conclusion: In Japan there is some correlation with type 1 diabetes mellitus and enterovirus. The pathophysiology of type 1 diabetes mellitus seems to consist of a direct destruction by persistent coxsackie virus and the autoimmune mechanism through autoantibodies against beta-cells.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / virology*
  • Enterovirus / genetics*
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Viral Load


  • RNA, Viral
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase