Chlamydophila pneumoniae antibodies may be independently associated with increased BMI and percentage of body fat among women

Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Sep;35(9):1225-32. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.267. Epub 2011 Jan 4.


Objective: To examine the potential association between Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection and obesity indicators after controlling for nutrient and energy intake, as well as age, smoking status, physical activity and educational level.

Subjects: A total of 118 healthy adult females randomly recruited from the local community of Bydgoszcz, aged 20-80 years.

Methods: Serum was tested for specific IgG antibodies against C. pneumoniae using qualitative enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Usual dietary intake was assessed by a 7-day food record. Information regarding smoking, physical activity and educational level was collected using the questionnaire. Body mass index (BMI) and percentage of total body fat (%FM) were calculated respectively, as weight (kilograms) divided by height (meters) squared and with the equations of Durnin and Womersley.

Results: The prevalence of C. pneumoniae infection was significantly higher among overweight/obese subjects (77.1 vs 60.0%; P=0.047) in comparison with normal-weight individuals. Using multivariate regression analysis, a significant positive association of BMI (β=0.194; P=0.036) and %FM (β=0.176; P=0.049) with C. pneumoniae IgG antibody positivity was found after adjustment for age, total energy intake, percentage of energy from fat, carbohydrate and protein, physical activity, educational level and smoking habits. Moreover, the multivariable adjusted odds ratio of being overweight/obese for the seropositive group compared with seronegative individuals was 1.70 (95% confidence interval: 1.02-2.89; P=0.037).

Conclusion: The results indicated that C. pneumoniae infection may be associated with a risk of becoming overweight/developing obesity independently of dietary and lifestyle factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Chlamydophila Infections / complications*
  • Chlamydophila Infections / epidemiology*
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Diet Records
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G