‘Influenza infection’ may play a role as causative agent of ‘pancreatitis’ and ‘diabetes’


English: Different sites and outcomes of H1N1 ...

English: Different sites and outcomes of H1N1 versus H5N1 influenza infections. Based on Respiratory system.svg with annotations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recent article published by Ilaria Capua in the Journal of Virology suggests that “Influenza A viruses grow in human pancreatic cells and cause pancreatitis and diabetes.

It is known that ‘Influenza A’ viruses commonly cause pancreatitis in naturally and experimentally infected animals. In the current study the authors report the results of in vivo investigations carried out to establish whether influenza infection could cause

metabolic disorders linked to pancreatic infection.

viral growth and pancreatic cell damage.

The study suggests that “Infection of an avian model with two low pathogenicity avian influenza isolates caused pancreatic damage resulting in hyperlipasemia in over 50% of subjects, which evolved into hyperglycemia and subsequently diabetes.”

Histopathology of the pancreas showed signs of an acute infection resulting in severe fibrosis and disruption of the structure of the organ.

Influenza nucleoprotein was detected by IHC in the acinar tissue.

Human seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 viruses and avian H7N1 and H7N3 influenza isolates were able to infect a selection of human pancreatic cell lines. Human viruses were also shown to be able to infect human pancreatic islets.

In situ hybridization assays indicated that viral nucleoprotein could be detected in beta cells. The cytokine activation profile indicated a significant increase of MIG/CXCL9, IP-10/CXCL10, RANTES/CCL5, MIP1b/CCL4, Groa/CXCL1, IL8/CXCL8, TNFa and IL-6.

“The findings indicate that influenza infection may play a role as causative agent of pancreatitis and diabetes in humans and other mammals.”


Journal of Virology /2012/10/18/


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