This prototype is not a cure and does not have the ability to eliminate the disease all together. However, it is expected to provide immunity against a certain virus that has been found to trigger the defences of the body into attacking itself. This can potentially reduce the number of new diabetes cases every year.
After two years of research headed by the University of Tampere in Finland, it has already proven concrete evidence linking a type of virus called coxsackievirus B1 which has an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to destroy cells in its own pancreas.
It was surprisingly found that enteroviruses are common in newborns. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that around a quarter of the 444 known enterovirus infections in the United States during 2007 were caused by Coxsackievirus B1 (CVB1).
The researchers wrote in their 2014 study that “one can estimate from the generated data that less than 5 percent of CVB1-infected children go on to develop type 1 diabetes”.
If everything goes well, this freshly developed vaccine could put that on halt.
“Already now it is known that the vaccine is effective and safe on mice,” Hyoty says. The developing process has now taken a significant leap forward as the next phase is to study the vaccine in humans.”
“Additionally, the vaccine would protect from infections caused by enteroviruses such as the myocarditis, common cold, ear infections, and meningitis,” Hyoty says.
Approximately, it could be another eight years before we clearly see whether the vaccine does what it’s supposed to do, so we should not be expecting anything radical too soon.
A vaccine like this can certainly be a giant step forward towards fighting type 1 diabetes.