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Diabetologia. 2000 Oct;43(10):1235-8.

Neonatal Type I diabetes associated with maternal echovirus 6 infection: a case report.

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  • 1Hospital for Children and Adolescents and Haartman Institute, Transplantation Laboratory, University of Helsinki, Finland.



Neonatal diabetes mellitus is rare, and it has not been associated with beta-cell autoimmunity. Enteroviral infections during pregnancy have been implicated as a risk factor for the later development of Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. We now report of a baby girl who was born severely growth-retarded with neonatal insulin-deficient diabetes, and look for evidence of intrauterine enteroviral infections and beta-cell targeted autoimmunity.


Diabetes-associated autoimmunity was studied by measurement of several types of islet cell reactive autoantibodies. The infant's T-cell responses to insulin and enterovirus antigens were recorded and enterovirus antibodies were measured both from the mother and the child.


Several types of diabetes-associated autoantibodies were detected postnatally, including insulin autoantibodies, conventional islet cell autoantibodies and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies, whereas no autoantibodies were observed in the mother. The infant's T-cells showed reactivity to insulin and purified enterovirus particles. Based on serological studies, the pathogenetic process could have been triggered by an echovirus 6 infection during pregnancy. The patient's diabetes has been permanent, although there were signs of endogenous insulin production for several months. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency was diagnosed at the age of 1 year.


These observations suggests that enteroviral infections may induce beta-cell autoimmunity even in utero.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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