TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — There appears to be no association between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and autoimmunity related to type 1 diabetes development in children and adolescents, according to a research letter published online Aug. 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Marian Rewers, M.D., Ph.D., from the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes at the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues offered a cross-sectional screening for islet autoantibodies and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to children and adolescents aged 1 to 18 years participating in the Autoimmunity Screening for Kids study in Colorado and to children aged 1 to 10.9 years from the Frida study in Bavaria, Germany. The presence of multiple or single high-affinity islet autoantibodies that carry, respectively, a 50 and 30 percent risk for progression to clinical diabetes in five years was assessed as a study outcome.
The researchers found that 32.3 percent of the 4,717 Colorado youths and 6.1 percent of the 47,253 Bavarian children had prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Multiple islet autoantibodies were detected in 0.45 and 0.30 percent of children from Colorado and Bavaria, respectively, and 0.55 and 0.11 percent of youths, respectively, were positive for a single high-affinity islet autoantibody. There was no difference observed in the prevalence of multiple or single high-affinity islet autoantibodies between youths with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in either cohort. After controlling for confounders, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was not significantly associated with the presence of multiple islet autoantibodies or a single high-affinity islet autoantibody.
“Long-term follow-up of persons with preexisting autoimmunity is necessary to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 accelerates progression to clinical diabetes,” the authors write.
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