Germs could trigger type-1 diabetes

Germs could trigger type-1 diabetes

A team of researchers from Cardiff University's Systems Immunity Research Institute found that T-cells – a type of white blood cell that defends humans from germs – get activated by some types of bacteria, leading the T-cells to attack beta cells that produce insulin. Since type-1 diabetes affects children and young adults and is not directly related to a person’s dietary pattern, the reasons behind the development of this disease have been unclear. The research team used Diamond Light Source, which is the UK's synchrotron science facility, to shine powerful X-rays into the samples. They found that sometimes certain germs activate T-cells so that these cells target a person’s own tissue i.e. the beta cells and destroy them, which leads to the development of type-1 diabetes. The team is hopeful that their findings will help develop new ways of detecting, diagnosing, and preventing type-1 diabetes.

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