Germs could play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes by triggering the body’s immune system to destroy the cells that produce insulin, new research suggests.

 

Scientists have previously shown that killer T-cells, a type of white blood cell that normally protects us from germs, play a major part in type 1 diabetes by destroying insulin producing cells, known as beta cells.

 

Now, using Diamond Light Source, the UK’s synchrotron science facility to shine intense super powerful X-rays into samples, a team from Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute found the same killer T-cells that cause type 1 diabetes are strongly activated by some bacteria.

The team hope this research will lead to new ways to diagnose, prevent or even halt type 1 diabetes.

 

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