Researchers have suggested that rotavirus vaccination may be the first practical measure that could play a role in the prevention of type 1 diabetes (T1D). It follows new findings that rotavirus vaccination is linked with a more than 30 per cent lower risk of developing T1D later on.
In a new study, researchers examined data on 1,474,535 infants in the United States from 2001 to 2017. They found a 33 per cent reduction in the risk of T1D with completion of a rotavirus vaccine series compared to the unvaccinated (95% CI 17%-46%). Completion of a pentavalent vaccine series was associated with 37 per cent lower risk (95% CI 22%-50%). Partial vaccination (series not completed) was not associated with the incidence of T1D.
The study's authors however cautioned that they cannot show a cause-and-effect relationship between rotavirus vaccination and T1D risk. "This is an uncommon condition, so it takes large amounts of data to see any trends across a population," said author Mary A.M. Rogers. "It will take more time and analyses to confirm these findings. But we do see a decline in type 1 diabetes in young children after the rotavirus vaccine was introduced."
The findings are published in Scientific Reports.