Lung infections could trigger the onset of Type 1 diabetes, according to researchers at the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland.
Looking for patterns in vast databases of genomic data, the researchers ranked genetic mutations associated with Type 1 according to effects of the condition through different tissues in the body – the biggest impacts occurred to genes in the lung.
“The results support a theory that respiratory viral infections can trigger the onset of type-1 diabetes. If the theory proves correct, drugs could be developed to target the key genes and slow the onset of the disease,” says lead researcher Professor O’Sullivan.
The study is published in Communications Biology.