Saffold Virus, a Human Cardiovirus, and Risk of Persistent Islet Autoantibodies in the Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study MIDIA

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 28;10(8):e0136849. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136849. eCollection 2015.


The aim of this study was to describe the frequency and distribution of Saffold virus in longitudinal stool samples from children, and test for association with development of persistent autoantibodies predictive of type 1 diabetes. A cohort of Norwegian children carrying the HLA genotype associated with highest risk of type 1 diabetes ("DR4-DQ8/DR3-DQ2") was followed with monthly stool samples from 3 to 35 months of age. Blood samples were tested for autoantibodies to insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase65 and Islet Antigen-2. 2077 stool samples from 27 children with ≥ 2 repeatedly positive islet autoantibodies (cases), and 53 matched controls were analysed for Saffold virus genomic RNA by semi-quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR. Saffold virus was found in 53 of 2077 (2.6%) samples, with similar proportions between cases (2.5%) and controls (2.6%). The probability of being infected by 3 years of age was 28% (95% CI 0.18-0.40). Viral quantities ranged from <1 to almost 105 copies/μl. Estimated odds ratio between islet autoimmunity and infection episodes prior to seroconversion was 1.98 (95% CI: 0.57-6.91, p = 0.29). Saffold virus had no statistically significant association with islet autoimmunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Cardiovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Cardiovirus Infections / blood
  • Cardiovirus Infections / immunology
  • Cardiovirus Infections / virology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Feces / virology
  • Female
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insulin / immunology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 8 / immunology*
  • Viral Load


  • Autoantibodies
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • Insulin
  • PTPRN protein, human
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 8
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase

Grant support

This work was supported by The Research Council of Norway (grant numbers 205086/F20 to GT, 185610/V40 to HB, 166515/V50 to KSR)m the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (IGA MZ 11465-5 to OC) and the Project for the Conceptual Development of Research Organization 00064203 (University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.