Insulin autoantibodies (IAA)

Insulin autoantibodies (IAA) were first convincingly demonstrated by Palmer and co-workers in 1983. These autoantibodies appear prior to insulin treatment and are present in approximately 70% of children and adolescents at the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. The levels of IAA show a strong inverse correlation with age, being found in more than 90% of children under the age of 5 years at diagnosis.

The early appearance of IAA makes them particularly useful for diabetes prediction in young children. Induction of insulin antibodies to exogenous insulin means that IAA measurement is no longer informative once insulin therapy has been given for more than 2 weeks.

The observation that insulin autoantibodies appear so early in the prodrome to type 1 diabetes in children suggested that recognition of IAA-associated epitopes might be the initiating step in the autoimmune cascade resulting in diabetes. This formed an important part in the rationale of intervention studies using injected, oral or intranasal insulin, but results from these trials have been disappointing.

  • Sample of blood serum
  • We perform the test every Friday