Inventors: Prof. Zvi Laron
Background: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease with both genetic and environmental risk factors contributing to its etiology. The incidence of T1D has been increasing annually throughout the world, especially in the very young children. It has been demonstrated that one or more environmental factors play a role in the initiation and progression of its pathogenesis and that the initial triggering events may be more specific than subsequent triggering events. One such scenario is an initial specific viral infection triggering the autoimmune attack of the pancreatic beta cells followed by other less specific immune stimulations. The intensity and number of these events will determine the timing of the clinical unmasking of T1D. Rotavirus has been implicated in the etiopathology of T1D and both manifest islet-cell tropism. Infectious virus and/or antibodies may be transmitted from mother to fetus, initiating an autoimmune process against the pancreatic beta cells or protecting the fetus. From said above there is a real need for the development of safe RV vaccines to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Technology: Development of safe RV vaccines to protect women who are pregnant or planned to become pregnant against islet autoimmunity and prevent type 1 diabetes in their offspring. Prof Laron found that rotavirus infections in healthy pregnant mothers correlated with damage to pancreatic beta cells in mothers and/or their offspring , which could be an initial triggering event leading to T1D. This finding makes it is possible to make an effective RV vaccine against type 1 diabetes which should be a vaccination regime for pregnant women and/or women that planned to get pregnant in order to prevent T1D in newborn infants and/or later in children.