Antivirals Might Preserve Insulin in New-Onset Type 1 Diabetes

2 Nov 2023 • Viruses, and particularly some enteroviruses, have been linked to the development and progression of type 1 diabetes by injuring β cells or inducing autoimmunity. Now, the results of a phase 2 trial suggest that antiviral treatment with a combination of pleconaril and ribavirin might protect the remaining insulin-producing capacity of pancreatic β cells in children with new-onset type 1 diabetes.

The study included 96 participants who had been diagnosed within 3 weeks of enrollment. Children who received the 26-week antiviral therapy had higher C-peptide levels, an indicator of insulin production, compared with those who received the placebo. The rate of adverse events was similar between groups, and none of the events were classified as serious.

However, antiviral treatment did not lead to a significant difference in C-peptide levels until 12 months, suggesting that “it may take a long time to experience the effects of antiviral treatment against a persistent, low-grade viral infection,” the researchers wrote in Nature Medicine.

Source: JAMA | Read full story

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