Ketosis-Prone Diabetes Associated with Herpes Virus

Findings offer clue to precipitating factors for atypical diabetes

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- In a sub-Saharan African patient population, antibodies for the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) are associated with ketosis-prone type 2 diabetes mellitus, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Eugene Sobngwi, M.D., Ph.D., of INSERM in Paris, France, and colleagues conducted a study of 187 diabetic patients, of whom 81 had ketosis-prone diabetes and 106 had non-ketotic diabetes, as well as 90 non-diabetic controls matched for age and sex.

Among the ketosis-prone diabetic patients, 71 (87.7 percent) had HHV-8 antibodies, while 16 non-ketotic diabetes patients (15.1 percent) and 36 of the controls (40 percent) had the antibodies, the researchers found. Of 13 ketosis-prone patients tested at acute onset, HHV-8 was found in genomic DNA of six of them, whereas it was not detected in any of the nine non-ketotic diabetes patients tested.

"The design of our study does not allow determination of whether HHV-8 infection precedes the onset of diabetes or is reactivated during the acute presentation, but we have clear indication that the acute metabolic disturbances coincide with significant viremia," the authors write. "These results need to be relocated in other populations and longitudinal studies are required to understand the clinical significance of these findings."

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