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NEW YORK – An international team led by investigators at the University of South Florida has identified apparent differences in the viruses carried by children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) or insulin deficiency-related autoimmunity against pancreatic islet beta cells.

Although there have been hints from prior in vitro and in vivo analyses suggesting pancreatic beta cell infections with enteroviruses or other viruses may prompt altered autoimmunity and damage to the insulin-pumping pancreatic cells, it has been difficult to decisively link such viruses to disease.

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