New research may lead to diabetes vaccine within 20 years
Scientists have found a link between a family of viruses and Type 1 diabetes that could enable them to develop a vaccine within the next two decades.
Type 1 diabetes is caused when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that regulate blood sugar levels are destroyed. But it was not known how that damage was caused.
Now the team of British scientists and doctors from the Peninsula Medical School in South West England, the University of Brighton and Glasgow Royal Infirmary believe they have discovered proof it is caused by a virus after finding traces of an infection in more than 60 per cent of sufferers.
The research, which is published in the journal Diabetologia, tested the pancreas of young patients who had died of Type 1 diabetes over the past 25 years.
It is now hoped that further research could lead to identifying the exact virus and then developing a vaccine to stop it in its tracks.
Type 1 diabetes affects around 300,000 people in the UK.