Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Linking childhood diarrhoea and the onset of type I diabetes

Virologist Associate Professor Barbara Coulson explains how a common childhood infection could hasten the onset of type 1 diabetes.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.


Hi, I'm Dyani Lewis. Thanks for joining us. Over the course of our lives and especially during childhood illnesses tend to come and go. Toddlers will bring home a cold from day care one year, develop a mild skin rash the next and maybe get a bout of the flu a couple of years after that. In most cases our immune system dispenses with such infections and sees us through to recovery. No need for long term management or daily drug regimes. Childhood diarrhoea is usually one of these illnesses. It can be nasty but for the most part it's nothing more than an unpleasant rite of passage for small children quickly forgotten after a day or two.

Type 1 diabetes is in a different category altogether. Instead of being short lived Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition. After onset, which usually occurs in childhood, Type 1 diabetes requires daily injections of insulin and careful monitoring of diet and blood glucose levels.

Today on Up Close I'm joined by associate professor Barbara Coulson who has been investigating an intriguing link between a virus that causes short lived diarrhoea in children and the onset of Type 1 diabetes, a condition that stays with people...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.