Background: Some studies implicate rotavirus infection as a trigger for the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in children, however findings are controversial.
Objectives: We investigated the link between rotavirus infection and autoantibodies against islet antigens and T1DM in children.
Methods: Serum samples from 80 new-onset diabetic and 80 nondiabetic children were screened for anti-rotavirus IgG, anti-GAD65 and anti-IA-2 autoantibodies using ELISA kits.
Results: Positivity percentages of anti-rotavirus IgG detection in diabetic and nondiabetic children were 51.3% and 35.0%, respectively (p = 0.03). The mean anti-GAD65 and anti-IA-2 antibody titers in anti-rotavirus IgG positive samples were statistically higher than that the anti-rotavirus IgG negative samples. A positive correlation was found between anti-rotavirus IgG and anti-GAD65 antibody levels (p = 0.004; r = 0.22).
Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesis that rotovirus infection may induce T1DM in children.
Keywords: T1DM; autoantibodies; children; rotavirus; type 1 diabetes.