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Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Feb;34(2):302-8. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.224. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Adenovirus 36 seropositivity is strongly associated with race and gender, but not obesity, among US military personnel.

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Department of Respiratory Diseases Research, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA 92186-5122, USA.



Although several studies have shown a positive association between evidence of anti-adenovirus 36 (Ad-36) antibodies (Ad-36 exposure) and (1) obesity and (2) serum cholesterol in animals, there is limited research demonstrating this association in humans. There is also limited research on transmission, presentation and demographics of Ad-36 infection.


(1) Body mass (body mass index (BMI)), (2) fasting serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels and (3) demographic characteristics were compared between Ad-36 seropositive and seronegative groups. The majority of subjects were matched as cases versus controls on a number of demographic variables.


A total of 150 obese and 150 lean active-duty military personnel were studied.


Subjects completed a questionnaire regarding demographic and behavioral characteristics. Subject serum samples were tested by serum neutralization assay for the presence of anti-Ad-36 antibodies.


In all, 34% of obese and 39% of lean subjects had Ad-36 exposure, an insignificant difference. Serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly higher among the obese subjects than among the lean, but there were no associations between serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels and Ad-36 exposure. Positive associations were found between Ad-36 exposure and age, race and gender.


The study stands in contrast to previous work that has shown a positive relationship between Ad-36 exposure and (1) obesity, and (2) levels of serum cholesterol and triglycerides. In this study there was no association in either case. Unanticipated relationships between Ad-36 exposure and age, race and gender were found, and this is the first time that such a link between Ad-36 exposure and demographics has been found.

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