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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2014, Article ID 738512, 21 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/738512
Review Article

Type I Diabetes Mellitus: Genetic Factors and Presumptive Enteroviral Etiology or Protection

Enterovirus Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Slovak Medical University, Limbova 12, 83303 Bratislava, Slovakia

Received 6 May 2014; Revised 14 July 2014; Accepted 9 November 2014; Published 10 December 2014

Academic Editor: Alexander Rodriguez-Palacios

Copyright © 2014 Jana Precechtelova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We review type 1 diabetes and host genetic components, as well as epigenetics and viruses associated with type 1 diabetes, with added emphasis on the enteroviruses, which are often associated with triggering the disease. Genus Enterovirus is classified into twelve species of which seven (Enterovirus A, Enterovirus B, Enterovirus C, and Enterovirus D and Rhinovirus A, Rhinovirus B, and Rhinovirus C) are human pathogens. These viruses are transmitted mainly by the fecal-oral route; they may also spread via the nasopharyngeal route. Enterovirus infections are highly prevalent, but these infections are usually subclinical or cause a mild flu-like illness. However, infections caused by enteroviruses can sometimes be serious, with manifestations of meningoencephalitis, paralysis, myocarditis, and in neonates a fulminant sepsis-like syndrome. These viruses are often implicated in chronic (inflammatory) diseases as chronic myocarditis, chronic pancreatitis, and type 1 diabetes. In this review we discuss the currently suggested mechanisms involved in the viral induction of type 1 diabetes. We recapitulate current basic knowledge and definitions.