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Pediatrics. 2010 Oct;126(4):721-6. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3362. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

Adenovirus 36 and obesity in children and adolescents.

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  • 1University of California, San Diego, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, School of Medicine, and Department of Gastroenterology, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, 200 West Arbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92103-8450, USA.



The primary aim of this study was to assess the relationship between adenovirus 36 (AD36)-specific antibodies and obesity in children.


A cross-sectional study of children 8 to 18 years of age was performed. Children were classified according to BMI percentile as nonobese (<95th percentile) or obese (≥95th percentile). The presence of AD36-specific neutralizing antibodies was assessed by using the serum neutralization assay.


A total of 124 children (median age: 13.6 years) were studied. Of those children, 46% were nonobese and 54% were obese. AD36 positivity was present in 19 children (15%). The majority of children found to be AD36-positive were obese (15 [78%] of 19 children). AD36 positivity was significantly (P<.05) more frequent in obese children (15 [22%] of 67 children) than nonobese children (4 [7%] of 57 children). Among the subset of children who were obese, those who were AD36-positive had significantly larger anthropometric measures, including weight, BMI, waist circumference, and waist/height ratio.


These data support an association of obesity and higher body weight with the presence of neutralizing antibodies to AD36 in children. If a cause-and-effect relationship is established, it would have considerable implications for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

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