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Primary prevention of type 1 diabetes (T1D) requires intervention in genetically at-risk infants. The Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes (GPPAD) has established a screening program, GPPAD-02, that identifies infants with a genetic high risk of T1D, enrolls these into primary prevention trials, and follows the children for beta-cell autoantibodies and diabetes. Genetic testing is offered either at delivery, together with the regular newborn testing, or at a newborn health care visits before the age of 5 months in regions of Germany (Bavaria, Saxony, Lower Saxony), UK (Oxford), Poland (Warsaw), Belgium (Leuven), and Sweden (Region Skåne). Seven clinical centers will screen around 330 000 infants. Using a genetic score based on 46 T1D susceptibility single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or three SNPS and a first-degree family history for T1D, infants with a high (>10%) genetic risk for developing multiple beta-cell autoantibodies by the age of 6 years are identified. Screening from October 2017 to December 2018 was performed in 50 669 infants. The prevalence of high genetic risk for T1D in these infants was 1.1%. Infants with high genetic risk for T1D are followed up and offered to participate in a randomized controlled trial aiming to prevent beta-cell autoimmunity and T1D by tolerance induction with oral insulin. The GPPAD-02 study provides a unique path to primary prevention of beta-cell autoimmunity in the general population. The eventual benefit to the community, if successful, will be a reduction in the number of children developing beta-cell autoimmunity and T1D.

Original publication




Journal article


Pediatr Diabetes

Publication Date





720 - 727


beta-cell autoantibodies, genetic risk for type 1 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, Autoantibodies, Autoimmunity, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Europe, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genetic Testing, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Islets of Langerhans, Male, Neonatal Screening, Patient Selection, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Preliminary Data, Primary Prevention, Research Design, Risk Factors