Rotavirus and Type 1 Diabetes-Is There a Connection? A Synthesis of the Evidence

J Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 1;222(7):1076-1083. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa168.


Although the etiology of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is not well understood, it is believed to comprise both genetic and environmental factors. Viruses are the most well studied environmental trigger, and there is a small but growing body of research on the potential influence of rotavirus on T1D. Rotavirus infections were initially identified as possible triggers of T1D given similarities between viral peptide sequences and T1D autoantigen peptide sequences. Furthermore, rotavirus infection has been shown to modify T1D risk in T1D-prone mice. However, research into associations of rotavirus infections with T1D development in humans have yielded mixed findings and suggested interactions with age and diet. As global availability of rotavirus vaccines increases, recent studies have assessed whether rotavirus vaccination modifies T1D development, finding null or protective associations. Overall, evidence to date suggests a possible triggering relationship between some wild-type rotavirus infections and T1D, but the potential effect of rotavirus vaccination remains unclear.

Keywords: immunizations; pediatric gastroenteritis; rotavirus; rotavirus vaccine; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / virology*
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Rotavirus Infections / complications*
  • Rotavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Rotavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Vaccination


  • Rotavirus Vaccines