COVID-19 Causing Type-1 Diabetes Spontaneously

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New research on novel coronavirus shows that the infection may trigger type-1 diabetes.


  • For developing severe COVID-19, diabetes is one of the key risk factors and in some cases the patients may die.
  • The new research has evidence that novel coronavirus might trigger diabetes in some people who were free from diabetes.
  • The 2002 SARS coronavirus too caused diabetes in patients.
  • The virus binds the ACE2 receptors involved in controlling blood sugar in organs like the liver and pancreatic beta cells and infects the cells in the organ.
  • The research study shows that there is a two-way relationship between Covid-19 and diabetes. Diabetes is the key risk factor for severe Covid-19 and on the other hand, new research showed severe metabolic complications of preexisting diabetes.
  • The new research needs more evidence to prove that COVID-19 causes type-1 diabetes.
  • With the new finding, a global database to collect information on people with COVID-19 and patients who do not have type-1 diabetes has been initiated.
  • Researchers want to use the database to understand whether SARS-CoV-2 can induce type-1 diabetes or a new form of the disease.

Cause of Type-1 Diabetes

  • Type-1 diabetes is caused when the patient’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells, which produce insulin in the pancreas.
  • When the beta cells are destroyed, the production of insulin will reduce.
  • Hence, the ability of the body to control blood sugar is compromised and leads to type-1 diabetes.

Test Trials

  • Researchers used human pluripotent stem cells to grow miniature liver and pancreas.
  • They transplanted the miniature pancreatic endocrine cells into mice.
  • They examined the xenografted pancreas and found ACE2 receptors on beta and alpha cells of the mice.
  • When the mice infected with coronavirus the beta cell also infected by the virus.
  • The researchers were able to study the capability of the virus in damaging the cells that control the blood-sugar levels and triggering acute-onset of type-1 diabetes.

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