Detection of common viruses using the polymerase chain reaction to assess levels of viral presence in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients

Diabet Med. 1995 Nov;12(11):1002-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.1995.tb00413.x.


The polymerase chain reaction was used to detect a range of common viruses in the peripheral blood of Type 1 diabetic and non-diabetic control patients in order to identify any abnormal viral presence, with possible roles in the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes. Peripheral blood from 17 newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic patients, 38 Type 1 diabetic patients with disease of longer duration, and 43 age and sex matched non-diabetic controls was obtained. Samples were screened for cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, enterovirus (including coxsackie), and mumps virus. Cytomegalovirus was detected in control patients only (5%), Epstein-Barr virus was detected equally in newly diagnosed and control patients (12%), and enterovirus was detected slightly more frequently in diabetic than non-diabetic patients (41% and 31%, respectively). Mumps virus was not detected in any of the samples. It is concluded that Type 1 diabetic individuals are neither more prone to persistence of common viruses nor to more frequent acute infections with the viruses tested for than non-diabetic individuals. If common viruses are involved in the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes then they act either as non-specific agents to which the host has abnormal immune responses, or, the diabetogenic viruses are eliminated from the body by the time of disease diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / virology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Viruses / genetics
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*


  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral