Scientists revealed that a combined vaccine treatment with live Salmonella prevents diabetes and presented this information about their study on April 3 at ENDO, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Boston. The team explained that this vaccine stabilised the mice’s immune system and prevented its attack on cells that produce insulin.

The team combined the Salmonella typhimurium bacteria with the immunosuppressive drug Anti-CD3 and cytokines, the small regulatory proteins. They found that the non-obese mice administered with the vaccine did not suffer from diabetes and their glucose tolerance went back to normal.

“Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the underlying problem is with the immune system,” says lead study author Mohamed Husseiny Elsayed, an assistant research professor at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, CA. “This vaccine is a very safe and effective targeted immunotherapy and we believe it’s a great place to start in the development of a vaccine to stop Type 1 diabetes.”


Salmonella typhimurium bacteria. Photo from Pixabay/WikiImages

Nobody knows what exactly causes type 1 diabetes. In this disease, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the portion of the pancreas where insulin is produced. Consequently, the blood sugar levels increase and other metabolic functions stop working normally.

Previous research has shown that stopping all immunity in the disease produces positive temporary results. However, this caused serious side-effects.

This newly developed vaccine is not only effective but is safe as well. The researchers believe that the positive results in mice can be replicated in humans.

“The current standard of care is to treat the symptom, high blood sugar levels and its consequences, without addressing the underlying autoimmunity,” adds Elsayed. “Previous studies have hinted that immunotherapies given in the right way with the right dose and probably as a combination therapy could be effective to treat people with diabetes, and we have now found evidence to this effect in a mouse model.”