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Autoantibody-negative insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus after SARS-CoV-2 infection: a case report


Hollstein, Tim; Schulte, Dominik M; Schulz, Juliane; Glück, Andreas; Ziegler, Anette G; Bonifacio, Ezio; Wendorff, Mareike; Franke, Andre; Schreiber, Stefan; Bornstein, Stefan R; Laudes, Matthias (2020). Autoantibody-negative insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus after SARS-CoV-2 infection: a case report. Nature Metabolism, 2(10):1021-1024.

Abstract

Here we report a case where the manifestations of insulin-dependent diabetes occurred following SARS-CoV-2 infection in a young individual in the absence of autoantibodies typical for type 1 diabetes mellitus. Specifically, a 19-year-old white male presented at our emergency department with diabetic ketoacidosis, C-peptide level of 0.62 µg l–1, blood glucose concentration of 30.6 mmol l–1 (552 mg dl–1) and haemoglobin A1c of 16.8%. The patient´s case history revealed probable COVID-19 infection 5–7 weeks before admission, based on a positive test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 proteins as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Interestingly, the patient carried a human leukocyte antigen genotype (HLA DR1-DR3-DQ2) considered to provide only a slightly elevated risk of developing autoimmune type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, as noted, no serum autoantibodies were observed against islet cells, glutamic acid decarboxylase, tyrosine phosphatase, insulin and zinc-transporter 8. Although our report cannot fully establish causality between COVID-19 and the development of diabetes in this patient, considering that SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors, including angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, are expressed on pancreatic β-cells and, given the circumstances of this case, we suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection, or COVID-19, might negatively affect pancreatic function, perhaps through direct cytolytic effects of the virus on β-cells.

Abstract

Here we report a case where the manifestations of insulin-dependent diabetes occurred following SARS-CoV-2 infection in a young individual in the absence of autoantibodies typical for type 1 diabetes mellitus. Specifically, a 19-year-old white male presented at our emergency department with diabetic ketoacidosis, C-peptide level of 0.62 µg l–1, blood glucose concentration of 30.6 mmol l–1 (552 mg dl–1) and haemoglobin A1c of 16.8%. The patient´s case history revealed probable COVID-19 infection 5–7 weeks before admission, based on a positive test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 proteins as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Interestingly, the patient carried a human leukocyte antigen genotype (HLA DR1-DR3-DQ2) considered to provide only a slightly elevated risk of developing autoimmune type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, as noted, no serum autoantibodies were observed against islet cells, glutamic acid decarboxylase, tyrosine phosphatase, insulin and zinc-transporter 8. Although our report cannot fully establish causality between COVID-19 and the development of diabetes in this patient, considering that SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors, including angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, are expressed on pancreatic β-cells and, given the circumstances of this case, we suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection, or COVID-19, might negatively affect pancreatic function, perhaps through direct cytolytic effects of the virus on β-cells.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Health Sciences > Physiology (medical)
Health Sciences > Internal Medicine
Life Sciences > Cell Biology
Health Sciences > General Medicine
Language:English
Date:October 2020
Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 10:44
Last Modified:17 Feb 2021 21:00
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2522-5812
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-020-00281-8
PubMed ID:32879473

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