Analysis of the role of rotavirus infection in development of type 1 diabetes [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Also known as: How does rotavirus infection accelerate the progression of mice to diabetes?

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Barbara Coulson (Principal investigator)

Brief description Our earlier studies in children with a family history of type 1 diabetes have shown that infection with a common virus, rotavirus, may be one factor contributing to their progression to diabetes. Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration in young children, and it was thought that rotavirus infection is usually confined to the intestine. To understand how rotavirus infection might promote diabetes, my group has developed a mouse model. Using mice for these studies allows us to control infection and completely analyse the results of infection, which we cannot do in humans. A type of mouse that is very likely to develop type 1 diabetes in its first 6 months of life is infected by mouth with rotavirus. We have shown that these mice develop diabetes 7 weeks faster than the same type of mice that are not given virus. In this project, we will determine the effects of mouse age, virus strain, the number of times infection occurs, and levels of virus growth in the intestine or pancreas on virus-induced diabetes acceleration. The ability of treatments for rotavirus infection, and vaccination against rotavirus, to block this accelerated diabetes also will be tested. We expect that rotavirus will be found growing in the pancreas, that virus growth is necessary for diabetes acceleration, and that prevention of rotavirus infection will also prevent the rapid diabetes onset. This model could prove to be suitable for testing the effectiveness and safety of new drugs and vaccines against both rotavirus and type 1 diabetes. Our studies will be crucial in determining the importance of rotavirus infection in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Funding Amount $AUD 348,875.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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