Possible Link Between Reovirus and Celiac

It has been observed that while the genes for Celiac are not rare, the development of the disease is. About 40% of the population carries the genes but only 1% goes on to develop Celiac. In addition, some people develop Celiac after having eaten gluten all theirs lives. What triggers this change? It is not enough to simply have the genes and be exposed to gluten.  It has been said that genetics loads the gun but the environment pulls the trigger. Celiac is a genetic disorder and gluten activates it but why it happens at a particular moment to begin the response is not understood. A recent study published in the journal Science supports the theory that a virus starts the ball rolling. Researchers have observed that there are large amounts of antibodies against a reovirus in those with Celiac. They wanted to determine if it was just an association or a cause. For example, a fire alarm is associated with a fire but it does not cause it. Researchers exposed specially bred mice to two types of reovirus. One type showed an ability to disrupt the defenses of the small intestine while the other did not. Both produced quantities of antibodies against the virus. Mice with high levels antibodies also showed a decreased tolerance of dietary elements. It appears that a certain amount of antibody is needed to provoke the response. In at least some Celiacs with high levels of antibodies against reovirus, the virus may have triggered the response to gluten. Researchers have postulated that there may be other viruses involved and further study is needed.