Immunophenotype and genetic risk scores to improve autoantibody negative type 1 diabetes classification: study protocol

Shivani K. Patel, Cindy S. Ma, Kirstine J. Bell, Richard Oram, William A. Hagopian, Spiros Fourlanos, Jerry R. Greenfield


Background: An estimated 10-30% of type 1 diabetes (T1D) individuals do not have detectable autoantibodies at diagnosis, thus are classified as “idiopathic” or “non-immune.” Given the non-pathogenic role of islet autoantibodies, the validity of excluding an immune basis for disease in such individuals needs to be questioned. The pan-autoantibody negative type 1 diabetes in adults (PANDA) study aims to characterise the immune, clinical and metabolic phenotype of autoantibody negative T1D individuals.

Methods: This is a two-part, multi-centre study which is recruiting 100 participants: autoantibody positive T1D (N=25), autoantibody negative T1D (N=25), latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (N=25) and age- and sex-matched normoglycaemic control (N=25) individuals. Study 1 involves baseline pathology collection and high dimensional immune-phenotyping using flow cytometry. DNA will be extracted from saliva samples to calculate type 1 diabetes genetic risk scores (T1DGRS). Autoantibody negative individuals will undergo monogenic diabetes testing. Study 2 is a prospective, longitudinal sub-study of study 1 participants within 5 years of diagnosis. Beta cell function will be assessed using glucagon stimulated C-peptide at 0, 9 and 18 months. The primary outcome of study 1 is to determine the phenotype of immune cells in autoantibody positive and negative T1D compared to healthy controls. Secondary outcomes of study 1 include clinical and metabolic characteristics and the T1DGRS. The primary outcome of study 2 is the rate of decline of stimulated C-peptide over time.

Conclusions: The PANDA study is the first study of its kind which aims to improve diagnosis and characterisation of autoantibody negative T1D.


Autoantibody-negative, Type 1 diabetes, Autoimmune diabetes, Immune phenotype, Characterisation

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