Serological evaluation of possible exposure to Ljungan virus and related parechovirus in autoimmune (type 1) diabetes in children

  • Parechovirus and Type 1 Diabetes Risk
  • A-L. Nilsson, F. Vaziri-Sani, P. Broberg, A. Elfaitouri, R. Pipkorn, J. Blomberg, S-A. Ivarsson, H. Elding Larsson, Å. Lernmark
  • Journal of Medical Virology, April 2015, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/jmv.24127

Ljungan virus and similar viruses as potential risk factors for developing type 1 diabetes.

What is it about?

Exposure to Ljungan virus (LV) is implicated in the risk of autoimmune (type 1) diabetes but possible contribution by other parechoviruses is not ruled out. In this study correlation between antibodies to LV in two different assays and diabetes autoantibodies as well as diabetes high risk HLA identity, not shown for the other tested viruses, gives support for LV as a diabetic agent.

Why is it important?

The study supports previous observations that LV but not human parechovirus antibodies were related to type 1 diabetes as LV antibody titers were related to insulin autoantibodies. Most stringent associations were found in young age-at-onset type 1 diabetes children and positive for diabetes high risk HLA type. The data further support the notion that exposure to LV, or a closely related virus at a young age, may be related to the risk of type 1 diabetes.


Dr Anna-Lena Nilsson
Östersund Hospital

The findings in this study made it even more important to go on with research on the possible connection between Ljungan virus infection in humans as a trigger of autoimmunity leading to diabetes trying to possibly understand more about and explain the high incidence of type 1 diabetes in children and young people.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Anna-Lena Nilsson