Paratuberculosis and Type I diabetes: is this the trigger?

Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(4):782-5. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.04.029. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is an autoimmune disease. The etiology of T1DM is incompletely understood but environmental agent(s) are thought to trigger T1DM in the genetically at risk. Exposure to cow's milk early in life is a recognized risk factor in the development of T1DM. Mycobacterium avium ss. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the cause of bovine Johne's disease and also is thought to act as an immune antigen in Crohn's disease and other granulomatous diseases. MAP is shed in cow's milk and has been shown to survive pasteurization. Genetic susceptibilities, epitope homologies and epidemiologic studies are presented that support MAP as a causative agent of T1DM in the genetically at risk.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / microbiology
  • Cattle
  • Crohn Disease / etiology
  • Crohn Disease / microbiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Epitopes
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Models, Immunological
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis / pathogenicity*
  • Paratuberculosis / etiology*
  • Paratuberculosis / microbiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Epitopes