No evidence of enteroviruses in the intestine of patients with type 1 diabetes

A. Mercalli, V. Lampasona, K. Klingel, L. Albarello, C. Lombardoni, J. Ekström, V. Sordi, A. Bolla, A. Mariani, D. Bzhalava, J. Dillner, M. Roivainen, E. Bosi, L. Piemonti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims/hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the gut mucosa is a reservoir for enterovirus persistence in patients with type 1 diabetes. Methods: Small intestine biopsy samples from 25 individuals at different stages of type 1 diabetes, 21 control individuals and 27 individuals with coeliac disease were analysed for the presence of enterovirus RNA by using both radioactive in-situ hybridisation and real-time RT-PCR and for the presence of enterovirus proteins by immunostaining with antibodies against VP1 and VP4-2-3 capsid proteins and virus polymerase. Lymphocytic enteropathy and serum anti-VP1 antibodies were also evaluated at the time of biopsy. Moreover, high-throughput sequencing was performed to identify viral transcripts or genomes. Results: Enterovirus was not detected by in-situ hybridisation or RT-PCR in any of the individuals tested. Immunohistology revealed a few stained cells in the intestinal epithelium in a low number of individuals, with no difference between diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. Levels of serum IgG against VP1 did not differ between control individuals and those with diabetes or coeliac disease and no evidence of diabetes-related lymphocytic enteropathy was detected. High-throughput sequencing did not reveal specific enterovirus sequences in the gut mucosa of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Conclusions/interpretation: Prolonged/persistent enterovirus infections in gut mucosa are not common in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2479-2488
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • Enterovirus
  • Intestine
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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