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HISTORY
JOHNE'S INFORMATION CENTER - University of Wisconsin Ñ School of Veterinary Medicine



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Tuesday, June 26, 2018
MAP & T1DM: Coincidence or Causality


Background: In 2006 Dr. Tom Dow hypothesized that MAP, the cause of Johne's disease, in cow’s milk could act as a trigger for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) – see the journal Medical Hypotheses 67:782-785, 2006. In 2008, a research group led by Dr. Leonardo A. Sechi demonstrated that T1DM patients have serum antibodies to MAP more often that do T2DM patients or healthy controls (Clinical Vaccine and Immunology, 15:320-326, 2008). In 2011, Dr Sechi’s research team described a mechanism whereby antibodies directed against a specific MAP protein (MAP3865c) cross-react with a key pancreatic beta-cell antigen in T1DM patients (ZnT8) (PLoS ONE 6:e26931), a process called molecular mimicry. This idea opened new avenues for understanding the interplay of human genetics and MAP exposure regarding T1DM immunopathology.

News: This week, at the American Diabetes Association meeting, British researchers reported that vaccination of T1DM patients with BCG (a vaccine against tuberculosis) showed significant clinical improvement.

Comment: Although highly speculative, this data provides additional intriguing evidence supporting Dr. Dow’s novel hypothesis that MAP may be the trigger for T1DM and that vaccination against MAP could offer hope of a cure. If so, then elimination of MAP in the food supply could potentially prevent T1DM.

Footnote: The postulated MAP/T1DM association was first presented at the 2005 IAP meeting in Copenhagen. You can join the IAP and access such new ideas and the world's leading paratuberculosis researchers for only $50/year.

News story on MEDPAGE TODAY