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