A Vaccine to Prevent Type-1 Diabetes Could be on the Way

Could a vaccine for type-1 diabetes be on the horizon? In a new study, a small group of people with type 1 diabetes who were given a vaccine showed improvement in their blood sugar levels to nearly normal levels—and the changes lasted for five to eight years.

The study, published Thursday in the journal npj Vaccines by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, looked at nine people with type 1 diabetes who were given a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis, called bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). They had two injections, four weeks apart.

Levels of their hemoglobin a1c (HbA1c), which measures a person’s blood sugar, dropped more than 10% three years after treatment and by more than 18% four years after treatment. The researchers also found that the blood sugar levels of people in the trial were able to remain at near-normal levels for up to eight years. On average, the people in the trial had lived with type 1 diabetes for 19 years.