An earlier Finnish cohort study suggested that childhood viral CNS infections are associated with a fivefold increased odds of developing schizophrenia in adulthood. The authors sought to replicate this finding.
From the archives of the Department of Virology of the National Public Health Institute in Finland, 320 individuals born between 1960 and 1976 who had suffered virologically confirmed CNS infections before their 15th birthdays were identified. Of the infections, 202 had been caused by enteroviruses. The sample was followed up in the 1969-2000 records of the National Hospital Discharge Register of Finland to identify all cases of schizophrenia that emerged.
The cumulative incidence of schizophrenia was 0.94% in the whole sample and 0.99% among individuals who had suffered enteroviral infections. These rates are comparable to that found in the general population.
Childhood viral CNS infections were not associated with increased risk of schizophrenia.
Common enterovirus infections appear to initiate or facilitate the pathogenetic processes leading to type 1 diabetes (T1D) and also sometimes precipitate the clinical disease. We have recently demonstrated that (1) enterovirus-positive islet cells were seen on postmortem pancreatic specimens of several T1D patients but not in the corresponding samples of nondiabetic controls, and (2) several different enteroviruses can be associated with T1D. Enterovirus infections are transmitted from person to person by fecal-oral or respiratory routes, which means that infections usually start from the respiratory or gastrointestinal mucosa. Regardless of the clinical symptoms of the disease, viral replication continues in the submucosal lymphatic tissue for several weeks, up to a couple of months, and during that time the virus is excreted into the feces and translocated to the environment. Monitoring of sewage samples for enteroviruses can be used as a tool in epidemiologic studies of enterovirus. Finland has successfully used environmental control data in poliovirus surveillance for decades. About 24 samples have been collected annually from the Helsinki region, which covers about 20% of the population. In the present study, we have reanalyzed the sewage samples of the years 1993-2004 for nonpolio enteroviruses by inoculating them into five different continuous cell lines known to cover a wide range of serotypes. Isolated strains were identified by RT-PCR and VP1 sequencing. The most commonly detected serotypes were coxsackie B viruses (CBV1-5) and echoviruses (E6, 7, 11, 25, 30). Diabetogenic effects of the most prevalent enterovirus serotypes were studied in primary human beta cells.
To determine whether infection with human enterovirus or adenovirus, both common intestinal viruses, predicts development of coeliac disease.
Case-control study nested within Norwegian birth cohort recruited between 2001 and 2007 and followed to September 2016.
Children carrying the HLA genotype DR4-DQ8/DR3-DQ2 conferring increased risk of coeliac disease.
Enterovirus and adenovirus detected using real time polymerase chain reaction in monthly stool samples from age 3 to 36 months.
Coeliac disease diagnosed according to standard criteria. Coeliac disease antibodies were tested in blood samples taken at age 3, 6, 9, and 12 months and then annually. Adjusted odds ratios from mixed effects logistic regression model were used to assess the relation between viral infections before development of coeliac disease antibodies and coeliac disease.
Among 220 children, and after a mean of 9.9 (SD 1.6) years, 25 children were diagnosed as having coeliac disease after screening and were matched to two controls each. Enterovirus was found in 370 (17%) of 2135 samples and was significantly more frequent in samples collected before development of coeliac disease antibodies in cases than in controls (adjusted odds ratio 1.49, 95% confidence interval 1.07 to 2.06; P=0.02). The association was restricted to infections after introduction of gluten. High quantity samples (>100?000 copies/µL) (adjusted odds ratio 2.11, 1.24 to 3.60; P=0.01) and long lasting infections (>2 months) (2.16, 1.16 to 4.04; P=0.02) gave higher risk estimates. Both the commonly detected enterovirus species Enterovirus A and Enterovirus B were significantly associated with coeliac disease. The association was not found for infections during or after development of coeliac disease antibodies. Adenovirus was not associated with coeliac disease.
In this longitudinal study, a higher frequency of enterovirus, but not adenovirus, during early childhood was associated with later coeliac disease. The finding adds new information on the role of viral infections in the aetiology of coeliac disease.
Previous studies suggest that enterovirus infections may initiate and accelerate beta-cell damage years before the clinical manifestation of type 1 diabetes. We have now analyzed the role of enterovirus infections in the initiation of autoimmunity in children who have tested positive for diabetes-associated autoantibodies in a prospective study starting at birth (the Finnish Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study). The frequency of enterovirus infections was studied using both serology and testing for the presence of enterovirus RNA in the sera of 21 children who developed and retained autoantibodies and in 104 control subjects chosen from the same study cohort and matched for the time of birth, sex, and HLA alleles determining genetic diabetes susceptibility. Sample intervals were taken as basic units of follow-up, to which the observed number of infections was adjusted. Enterovirus infections were detected in 26% of sample intervals in the case subjects and in 18% of the sample intervals in the control children (P = 0.03). A temporal relationship between enterovirus infections and the induction of autoimmunity was found; enterovirus infections were detected in 57% of the case subjects during a 6-month follow-up period preceding the first appearance of autoantibodies compared with 31% of the matched control children in the same age-group (odds ratio 3.7, 95% CI 1.2-11.4). The frequency of adenovirus infections did not differ between the patient and control groups. Our data imply that enterovirus infections are associated with the development of beta-cell autoimmunity and provide evidence for the role of enteroviruses in the initiation of beta-cell destruction.
Enterovirus infections have been associated with the manifestation of clinical type 1 diabetes in a number of reports, and recent prospective studies have suggested that enterovirus infections may initiate the autoimmune process, leading to the disease. In the present study, we analyzed the role of enterovirus infections in a Finnish birth cohort study, Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP), in which all newborn infants are screened for diabetes-associated HLA-DQB1 alleles, and those with an increased genetic risk are invited for prospective follow-up. Enterovirus infections were diagnosed by serology and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from serum samples taken from birth every 3-6 months. Case children included 41 infants who became positive for diabetes-associated autoantibodies during the observation. Control children comprised altogether 196 infants who remained autoantibody negative and were matched for the time of birth, sex, and HLA-DQB1 alleles. Enterovirus infections were more frequent in case children than in control children (P = 0.004), and the average enterovirus antibody levels were also higher in the case children (P = 0.003). Enterovirus infections were particularly frequent during the 6-month period preceding the first detection of autoantibodies: 51% of the case children compared with 28% of the control children had an infection in that time interval (P = 0.003). There was no difference in the frequency of adenovirus infections between the groups (P = 0.9). The present results imply that enterovirus infections are associated with the appearance of beta-cell autoantibodies. A possible causal relationship is supported by the clustering of infections to the time when autoantibodies appeared.
BACKGROUND: Enterovirus and adenovirus are common in infancy, causing mostly asymptomatic infections. However, even an asymptomatic infection may be associated with increased risk of development of certain chronic non-infectious diseases, as has been suggested for enterovirus and type 1 diabetes. Data on occurrence and course of the infections in infancy are therefore important for designing effective approaches towards study of the association. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the frequency of enterovirus and adenovirus infections in Norwegian infants, to evaluate the duration of the infections, to investigate their association with symptoms, and to establish a robust procedure that will be used to study the association between these viruses and the development of auto-immunity leading to type 1 diabetes. STUDY DESIGN: Parents of infants, recruited for a study on environmental triggers of type 1 diabetes, submitted monthly samples of infant faeces, as well as information on symptoms of infection. The samples were analysed for enterovirus and adenovirus using quantitative real-time PCR, and enterovirus-positive samples were sequenced. RESULTS: Enteroviruses were found in 142/1,255 (11.3%), and adenoviruses in 138/1,255 (11.0%) of stool samples. Approximately half of the infants were exposed to these viruses at least once during the first year of observation (period 3-14 months of age). The presence of adenovirus was associated with fever and with symptoms of cold but not with diarrhoea and vomiting. The enterovirus positivity was not associated with any symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of enterovirus and adenovirus in longitudinally obtained faecal samples from infants is sufficiently high to enable studies of their association with chronic diseases. The present protocol for evaluating exposure to these viruses is well suited for large-scale efforts aimed at assessing possible long-term consequences, particularly in relation to type 1 diabetes.
Young children are susceptible to enterovirus (EV) infections, which cause significant morbidity in this age group. However, the current knowledge regarding the epidemiology of EVs and the circulating virus strains is mostly based on viruses detected in children with severe diseases leading to contact with the health care system, while the vast reservoir of EVs that circulate in the general population is less characterized.
The present study investigates the types and the prevalence of EVs circulating in the young children of the background population in Georgia, Colorado, and Washington State in the USA, and Germany, Sweden, and Finland in Europe. A total of 4018 stool samples, collected monthly from 300 healthy and non-hospitalized children at the age of 3-18 months in 2005-2009, were analyzed for the presence of EVs using RT-PCR, followed by sequencing of the VP1-2A region of the viral genome to type the EV(s) present. All of the children carried type HLA-DQ2 or -DQ8 alleles associated with type 1 diabetes.
Altogether 201 children (67%) were found to be EV positive. The prevalence was much lower in Finnish children (26%) than in the children of the other counties combined (75%). Infections increased by age and showed a nadir during the winter months. Children who carried both the HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 alleles had less infections than children who were homozygous for these alleles. Coxsackieviruses type A were the most frequently detected viruses in all geographical regions. Coxsackievirus type A4, Echovirus type 18, and Echovirus type 25 were shed for longer time periods than the other EV types.
Compared to prevalence data from symptomatic patients requiring medical attention, this study provides a better view of EVs circulating in young children in the USA and in Europe. The observations may prove useful for the selection of strategies for designing EV vaccines in the future. The study also confirms our previous serological findings suggesting that EV infections are relatively rare in Finland.