Virus Antibody Survey in Different European Populations Indicates Risk Association Between Coxsackievirus B1 and Type 1 Diabetes

  1. the VirDiab Study Group*
  1. 1Department of Virology, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
  2. 2Department of Virology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  3. 3Laboratory of Virology EA3610, University Lille 2 and CHR, Lille, France
  4. 4Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Nursing, National University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  5. 5King's College London, London, U.K.
  6. 6Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  7. 7Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  8. 8Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
  9. 9Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  10. 10Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
  11. 11Diabetes and Obesity Research Program, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  12. 12School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
  13. 13Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, U.K.
  14. 14Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  15. 15Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, U.K.
  16. 16Fimlab Laboratories, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland
  1. Corresponding author: Sami Oikarinen, sami.oikarinen{at}
  • Deceased.


Enteroviruses (EVs) have been connected to type 1 diabetes in various studies. The current study evaluates the association between specific EV subtypes and type 1 diabetes by measuring type-specific antibodies against the group B coxsackieviruses (CVBs), which have been linked to diabetes in previous surveys. Altogether, 249 children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes and 249 control children matched according to sampling time, sex, age, and country were recruited in Finland, Sweden, England, France, and Greece between 2001 and 2005 (mean age 9 years; 55% male). Antibodies against CVB1 were more frequent among diabetic children than among control children (odds ratio 1.7 [95% CI 1.0–2.9]), whereas other CVB types did not differ between the groups. CVB1-associated risk was not related to HLA genotype, age, or sex. Finnish children had a lower frequency of CVB antibodies than children in other countries. The results support previous studies that suggested an association between CVBs and type 1 diabetes, highlighting the possible role of CVB1 as a diabetogenic virus type.

  • Received April 18, 2013.
  • Accepted August 1, 2013.

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  1. Diabetes vol. 63 no. 2 655-662
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