Hopes of a diabetes vaccine were raised in March when a link between diabetes and a common stomach bug was discovered by two separate teams of researchers in the UK.
Both teams found evidence that the infection can trigger an auto-immune reaction which could eventually result in insulin-dependent diabetes. Their work also suggests a possible link to type-2 diabetes.
Depending on the patient, the virus can cause the usual symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea but sometimes presents no symptoms.
It is thought that the virus triggers off an over-the-top immune response causing the body’s own immune system to destroy pancreatic beta cells, eventually leading to Type-1 diabetes.
Researchers are now hard at work trying to identify which strains of virus are involved with a view to developing a preventative vaccine.
Type-1 diabetes affects millions of people world wide and patients rely on insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar and stay alive.
Even more people suffer from Type-2 diabetes, which has, until now, been related to lifestyle.
The findings were reported in the diabetes journal, Diabetologia.