Adenovirus 36 and obesity in children and adolescents

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviruses, Human / immunology*
  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / blood*
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Obesity / virology*


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral