Laboratoire de virologie/UPRES EA3610 « Pathogenèse virale du diabète de Type 1 », faculté de médecine, Université Lille-II CHRU Lille, centre de biologie pathologie et bâtiment Paul-Boulanger, CHRU Lille, 59037 Lille, France, Laboratoire de virologie LR99ES27, unité de pathogenèse & virulence virales, faculté de pharmacie de Monastir, avenue Avicenne, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia
Environmental factors, especially viruses, are involved in the initiation or the acceleration of type 1 diabetes (T1D) pathogenesis. Epidemiological data strongly suggest that enteroviruses, like coxsackievirus B4 (CV-B4), can be associated with T1D. It has been demonstrated that enterovirus infections were significantly more prevalent in at risk individuals, such as siblings of diabetic patients, when they developed anti-β cells autoantibodies or T1D, and in recently diagnosed diabetic patients, compared with control subjects. The isolation of CV-B4 from the pancreas of diabetic patients strengthened the hypothesis of a relationship between the virus and the disease. Studies performed in vitro and in vivo in animal models helped in discovering mechanisms of the infection of pancreas and other tissues, able to play a role in the pathogenesis of T1D. Interestingly, it cannot be excluded that enteroviruses behave as half-devil half-angel since experimental studies suggest that, in certain conditions, these agents would be able to protect individuals against the disease.