Rotavirus, a major etiological agent of acute diarrhea in children worldwide, has historically been linked to autoimmunity. In the last few years, several physiopathological approaches have been proposed to explain the leading mechanism triggering autoimmunity, from the old concept of molecular mimicry to the emerging theory of bystander activation and break of tolerance. Epidemiological and immunological data indicate a strong link between rotavirus infection and two of the autoimmune pathologies with the highest incidence: celiac disease and diabetes. The role for current oral rotavirus vaccines is now being elucidated, with a so far positive protective association demonstrated.
Keywords: Autoimmunity; Celiac Disease; Rotavirus; Type 1 Diabetes; Vaccines.
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