Recent advances in genotyping technologies combined with large scale recruitment of casecontrol cohorts have enabled the development of the genome-wide association (GWA) study design. As a consequence of this ongoing work, 64 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in 53 chromosome regions have now been associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D) risk (see www.t1dbase.org). These findings provide an unbiased assessment of the genetic architecture of T1D and I will give an overview of these data. In addition, the comparison of these results with similar findings obtained from additional GWA scans designed for other auto-immune disease, as well as for autoantibody data in T1D patients, provides further insights into the shared aetiology of autoimmune pathways. Arguably one of the most striking conclusions is the indication that viral infections are involved in the pathogenesis of T1D as well as other autoimmune disorders.