• Enteroviruses;
  • coxsackievirus B;
  • diabetes;
  • autoimmunity


The development of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) has been linked to exposure to environmental triggers, with Enteroviruses (EV) historically considered the prime suspects. Early serological studies suggested a link between EV infections and the development of T1DM and, though controversial, have been bolstered by more recent studies using more sensitive techniques such as direct detection of the EV genome by RT-PCR in peripheral blood. In this review, we consider the weight of evidence that EV can be considered a candidate trigger of T1DM, using three major criteria: (1) is EV infection associated with clinical T1DM, (2) can EV trigger the development of autoimmunity and (3) what would explain the putative association? Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.