Why is the prevalence of celiac disease increasing? Given the autoimmune nature of this disease, it makes sense to look at possible triggers for such an autoimmune phenomenon to occur, resulting in the signs and symptoms that characterize this illness. Infectious diseases in early childhood could certainly be a trigger but this possibility has not been well-studied until this week when Auricchio et al. (10.1542/peds.2016-4102) looked at 373 newborns in families with at least one relative with celiac disease (CD) and who were HLA positive for DQ2/DQ8 which is seen in the vast majority of patients with celiac disease (although does not necessarily mean they will develop the disease). A third of these children did develop CD before they were 6 years of age and interestingly, these children who did develop CD had a much high frequency of respiratory tract infections in their first two years of life than infants who did not develop this disorder. When controlling for confounders, the respiratory infection factor remained a significant contributor to separating CD cases from those who did not develop this disease through their first six years. If you want to digest even more of the interesting findings in this newborn cohort and better understand what role infections might be playing in the etiology of CD, check out this study and learn more.