Lack of evidence for the role of human adenovirus-36 in obesity in a European cohort

V.J. Goossens, S.A. Dejager, G.E. Grauls, M. Gielen, R.F. Vlietinck, C.A. Derom, R.J. Loos, S.S. Rensen, W.A. Buurman, J.W. Greve, M.A. van Baak, P.F. Wolffs, C.A. Bruggeman, C.J. Hoebe

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Adenovirus infection has been shown to increase adiposity in chickens, mice, and nonhuman primates. Adenovirus type 36 (Ad-36) DNA was detected in adipose tissues in these animal trials. In the United States, Ad-36 significantly correlates with obesity as illustrated by an Ad-36 seroprevalence of 30% in obese individuals and 11% in nonobese individuals. We investigated the possibility of a similar correlation of Ad-36 in Dutch and Belgian persons. In total, 509 serum samples were analyzed for Ad-36 antibodies using a serum neutralization assay. In addition, PCR was used to detect adenoviral DNA in visceral adipose tissue of 31 severely obese surgical patients. Our results indicated an overall Ad-36 seroprevalence of 5.5% increasing with age. BMI of Ad-36 seropositive humans was not significantly different from seronegative humans. No adenoviral DNA could be found using PCR on visceral adipose tissue. In conclusion, this first Ad-36 study in the Netherlands and in Belgium indicates that Ad-36 does not play a role as a direct cause of BMI increase and obesity in humans in Western Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-221
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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