This is pretty amazing. It seems like the practical applications for this virus would be pretty far ranging. Huge, as a matter of fact.
AN OBESITY VIRUS?
By Sean Henahan, Access Excellence
NEW ORLEANS (4/07/97) Is obesity caused by a virus? New virological and biochemical findings could lead to new treatment approaches for obesity, according to reports at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
University of Wisconsin researchers report that as many as 15% of obese people carry antibodies to a form of adenovirus (Ad-36) that has been implicated in obesity in other animals. The researchers tested 154 obese and 45 lean human volunteers for the presence of antibodies to Ad-36. He found about 15 percent of the obese volunteers had antibodies to Ad-36 while the lean volunteers showed none.
The antibody-positive obese people had significantly lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels than the antibody-negative obese people, a pattern similar to that seen in animals infected with Ad-36. But the two groups did not differ on any of 29 other measures the researchers compared, including age or family history of obesity. In male patients in particular, the presence of antibodies was associated with a significantly better response to treatment with obesity drugs
Between 80 and 90 million Americans are obese, defined as having a body-mass index of 27 or above. Body mass index is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. A viral connection to obesity in humans has never been seriously considered before, the researchers noted.