Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Physiology and Health
Zahra Mahamed - University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Co-Author(s): Muna Sunni, Antoinette Moran, Abdirahman M. Dhunka, Melena D. Bellin, Brandon Nathan, and Zahra Mahamed, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital Liping Yu, Peter A. Gottlieb, Sunanda Babu, and Taylor Armstrong, The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado, Denver, CO Janelle A. Noble, Julie A. Lane, Jennifer Kyllo, and M. Jennifer Abouzahab, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Background: Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the US, and pediatric diabetes teams are seeing increasing numbers of Somali children with diabetes. Objective: To assess the immune basis of diabetes in Somali children in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Methods: Thirty-one Somali children ≤19yr treated for type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota underwent analysis of HLA alleles (n=30) and diabetes autoantibodies (GAD65, IA-2, ZnT8; n=31). HLA alleles were analyzed in 49 Somalis without diabetes (controls). Anti-transglutaminase autoantibodies (TGA) for celiac disease were also measured. Results: In Somali children with T1D aged 13.5±5yr (35% female, disease duration 6.5±3.6yr), the most common HLA allele was DRB1*03:01 (93%, compared with 45% of Somali controls), followed by DRB1*13:02 (27%). There was a relatively low frequency of DR4 (13%). Controls showed a similar pattern. All 31 participants were positive for at least one diabetes autoantibody. Insulin antibodies were positive in 84% (all were on insulin). Excluding insulin antibodies, 23 (74%) subjects tested positive for at least one other diabetes autoantibody; 32% had 1 autoantibody, 32% had 2, and 10% had 3. GAD65 autoantibodies were found in 56% of subjects, IA-2 in 29%, and ZnT8 in 26%. Four (13%) were TGA positive. Conclusion: The autoantibody and HLA profiles of Somali children with diabetes are consistent with autoimmune diabetes. Their HLA profile is unique with an exceptionally high prevalence of DRB1*03:01 allele and relative paucity of DR4 alleles compared to African Americans with T1D.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The authors wish to thank Mohamed Farah and Martin Mohammed for helping with recruitment and community outreach; Shukri Ahmed for volunteering to interpret; and Brittany Machus for helping obtain consent from participants, collecting data from medical records at CHCM and coordinating efforts between the UMN and CHCM. The authors would also like to thank David M. Vock for his assistance and advice with statistical analyses.
Faculty Advisor: Muna Sunni, email@example.com
Role: During the project, I worked on the recruitment as well as writing the publication for the paper. I worked on various portions of the paper including discussion and introduction. However, my biggest contribution was recruiting subjects for the study.