A news report on Oz TV Friday night mentioned a recent announcement
concerning the notion that obesity might be catching (if you're a chook,
anyway)**, via adenovirus 36. Mechanism still unknown, but allegedly lowers
rate of energy use. This link was first mooted three years ago, and I don't
know if the news report means a breakthrough/confirmation, or just
recycling the obvious. Here's something on the earlier work:
An adenovirus linked to obesity
Alterations in metabolic pathways manifest
themselves in altered
function, regardless of what caused the
alteration. Researchers have
reported that chickens notably low in serum
triglycerides, after being infected with human
developed visceral obesity to a degree that would
not be expected.
Eighteen percent of the obese chickens, and zero
percent of the lean,
showed neutralizing antibodies to adenovirus-36.
were found in mice infected with human adenovirus
When screening human sera for an avian adenovirus
it was found
that the body mass index was higher for those
positive for the
adenovirus than for those who were negative.
Researchers are still in the early stages of
linking at least a portion of
obesity cases to an infectious etiology. Questions
regarding the mechanism by which the virus might
metabolism and cause increased adiposity.
Dhurandhar NV, et. al. 1997. Evidence for an
association of a virus
with obesity in humans. The FASEB Journal. Feb.
28, 1997. 11(3).
Atkinson RL, et. al. 1997. Production of obesity
in mice with a human
virus. The International Journal of Obesity. June.
Dhurandhar NV, et. al. 1996. Development of
obesity in chickens
after infection with a human adenovirus. Obesity
Vol. 4, Supplement 1. Page 248.
Dhurandhar NV, et. al. 1992. Screening of human
sera for avian
adenovirus antibody. International Congress on
Geneva, Wisconsin. July 1994.
Dhurandhar NV. 1992. Effect of adenovirus
infection on adiposity in
chickens. Veterinary Microbiology, 31:101-107.
**a chook is a chicken, a fowl, a pullet, a hen or cock; well, it is in Oz,
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