Research team describes how a virus can cause diabetes

It has recently been described that infection by some enteroviruses—a genus of viruses that commonly cause diseases of varying severity—could potentially trigger diabetes, although its direct effect ‘in vivo’ as well as its mechanism of action at the molecular level were unknown. Now, a team of researchers from the Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer Group, led by Nabil Djouder at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), demonstrates for the first time in Cell Reports Medicine how the enterovirus coxsackievirus type B4 (CVB4) could induce diabetes. These findings can be a fundamental step to open the way to the search of new therapeutic strategies.

The researchers also point out that the finding could be of relevance for the COVID-19 pandemic, since clinical information indicates a possible relationship between SARS-CoV-2 viral infection and diabetes. Djouder and his team suggest that since receptor of SARS-CoV-2 is expressed in the endocrine pancreas, it could operate and lead to diabetes in a similar way that CVB4 does, independently of immune reactions.

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