The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics on January 22, 2019.
Researchers have examined the comparative rates of type 1 diabetes in the span of eight years after the introduction of the oral rotavirus vaccine for six weeks and older kids.
According to the reports ever since the introduction of the oral rotavirus vaccine, it has saved about millions of lives in more than 90 countries.
It has been recorded that after the introduction of this vaccine, type 1 diabetes cases declined by 14 percent among 4 years and older children. However, there were no notable changes in older kids who are also suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Kirsten Perrett, a lead study author from the University of Melbourne, says “Whilst this finding is only preliminary data, it is possible that rotavirus vaccination may be one of possibly many as yet unknown protective environmental and modifiable factors against the development of type 1 diabetes in early childhood.”
Dr. Len Harrison, senior author from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute said, “Twenty years ago, their team revealed an association between the appearance of immune markers of type 1 diabetes in children and rotavirus infection. Subsequent studies in laboratory models suggested rotavirus infection of pancreatic cells can trigger an immune attack against the insulin-producing cells - similar to what occurs in type 1 diabetes.”
Before this vaccine, Rotasheild was introduced to treat type 1 diabetes, but in the 1990’s it was scaped out as it was linked to intussusception, a rare but life-threatening intestinal infection causing bowel obstruction.
Similarly, a decade ago two other vaccines were introduced RotaTeq and Rotarix, which appeared to reduce the risk of intussusception.
However, the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine made a huge impact by dropping down from 8.7 to 7.5 cases of type 1 diabetes in four years old and younger children for every 1,00,000 kids.
Dr. Perrett says that the finding may be proved with the future researches by comparing the immunization records of kids with and without type 1 diabetes. But currently, the study is underway and it is expected to be completed by the end of the year 2019.
According to the research, a rotavirus vaccine should not be skipped unless a child is suffering from severe intestinal infection or have had a history of bowels obstruction. Otherwise, it is highly recommended by the physicians that every newborn should be inoculated.
With future research and proving the protective effect of the rotavirus vaccine against type- 1 diabetes, it will be an added advantage.