Rotavirus Infection Enhances Levels of Autoantibodies Against Islet Cell Antigens GAD65 and IA-2 in Children with Type 1 Diabetes

Fetal Pediatr Pathol. 2019 Apr;38(2):103-111. doi: 10.1080/15513815.2018.1547338. Epub 2018 Dec 27.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoantigens / blood*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 8 / immunology*
  • Rotavirus Infections / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • ICA512 autoantibody
  • Membrane Proteins
  • PTPRN protein, human
  • Receptor-Like Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Class 8