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Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes - Testing the Hygiene Hypothesis

Objective

Preliminary data indicate that there is a strong association between the incidence of immune-mediated diseases and improving standard of living and hygiene. One of the steepest gradient in standard of living worldwide is present at the border between Russian Karelia and Finland with a sevenfold difference in the gross national product, while Estonia represents a country in rapid transition. These three populations comprise a “living laboratory” providing a unique possibility to test the hygiene hypothesis in the development of immune-mediated diseases. The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is six times lower in Russian Karelia than in Finland, whereas there are very limited differences in the frequency of risk HLA genotypes in the background population. This proposal aims at comparing (i) the frequency of beta-cell autoimmunity and other organ-specific autoantibodies; (ii) the frequency of IgE-specific sensitisation and signs of allergy; (iii) the frequency of various infections; (iv) the gut microbial flora; and (v) dietary intake in young children between the three populations. The birth cohort arm of the study aims at (i) delineating the ontogeny of the immune system by using modern tools of functional genomics; (ii) comparing the functional characteristics of regulatory T cells; (iii) characterising the gut microbial colonisation in infants; (iv) assessing the timing of exposure to foreign proteins in infancy (v) defining the interrelations between dietary factors, gut microbial flora and acute microbial infections. The objectives will be approached by studying 1600 children at the age of 3 and 5 years and by observing a birth cohort comprising about 320 subjects with HLA-conferred susceptibility to autoimmunity from birth up to the age of 3 years in each country. This proposal is expected to provide new data on the reasons and mechanisms behind the increasing rates of T1D and other immune-mediated diseases seen in most developed countries after World War II.

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2007-A
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Coordinator

HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO
Address
Yliopistonkatu 3
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto
Finland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 604 372
Administrative Contact
Katariina Vainio-Mattila (Ms.)

Participants (11)

HELSINGIN JA UUDENMAAN SAIRAANHOITOPIIRIN KUNTAYHTYMÄ
Finland
EU contribution
€ 494 108
Address
Stenbackinkatu 9
00029 Helsinki
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Anne Karikumpu (Ms.)
SIHTASUTUS TARTU ULIKOOLI KLIINIKUM
Estonia
EU contribution
€ 297 580
Address
Puusepa 1A
50406 Tartu
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Vallo Tillmann (Prof.)
Ministry of Health and Social Development, Karelian Republic of the Russian Federation
Russia
EU contribution
€ 191 748
Address
Lenin Street, 6
185035 Petrozavodsk
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Valentina Ulich (Dr.)
TERVEYDEN JA HYVINVOINNIN LAITOS
Finland
EU contribution
€ 565 664
Address
Mannerheimintie 166
00271 Helsinki
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Jaakko Penttinen (Mr.)
TAMPEREEN YLIOPISTO
Finland
EU contribution
€ 993 180
Address
Kalevantie 4
33014 Tampere
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Hannele Auffermann (Ms.)
TURUN YLIOPISTO
Finland
EU contribution
€ 974 330
Address
Yliopistonmaki
20014 Turku
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Eliisa Särkilahti (Dr.)
TARTU ULIKOOL
Estonia
EU contribution
€ 140 560
Address
Ulikooli 18
51005 Tartu
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Raivo Uibo (Prof.)
OU IMMUNOTRON
Estonia
EU contribution
€ 49 781
Address
Riia 185
51014 Tartu
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Raivo Uibo (Dr.)
Petrozavodsk State University
Russia
EU contribution
€ 98 729
Address
Lenin Street 33 33
185640 Petrozavodsk
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Natalya Dorshakova (Prof.)
LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 189 592
Address
Geschwister Scholl Platz 1
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Erika Von Mutius (Prof.)
ACADEMISCH ZIEKENHUIS GRONINGEN
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 400 256
Address
Hanzeplein 1
9713 GZ Groningen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Elisabeth W.H.M. Eijdems (Dr.)