Viruses as an Etiology of Obesity

Atkinson, Richard L.
October 2007
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Oct2007, Vol. 82 Issue 10, p1192
Academic Journal
Obesity is a serious chronic disease that has numerous etiologies. The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically since about 1980 in the United States and worldwide in both developed and developing countries. This rapid spread is compatible with an infectious origin. This review discusses the 5 animal viruses and 3 human viruses that have been shown to cause obesity and examines the evidence to date for virus-induced obesity. The obesogenic animal viruses include canine distemper virus, Rous-associated virus type 7, Borna disease virus, scraple agent, and SMAM-1. The first 4 viruses attack the central nervous system to produce obesity. SMAM-1, an avian adenovirus from India, acts directly on adipocytes and is the only animal virus that is associated with human obesity. The 3 human adenoviruses, adenovirus (Ad) 36, Ad-37, and Ad-5, that are associated with obesity also affect adipocytes directly. These viruses stimulate enzymes and transcription factors that cause accumulation of triglycerides and differentiation of preadipocytes into mature adipocytes. Ad-5 and Ad-37 have been shown to cause obesity in animals. Ad-36 has been studied the most and is the only human adenovirus to date that has been linked with human obesity. Ad-36 causes obesity in chickens, mice, rats, and monkeys and was present in 30% of obese humans and 11% of nonobese humans. In twins discordant for infection with Ad-36, the infected twins were heavier and fatter than their cotwins. The growing body of evidence demonstrating that viruses produce human obesity supports the concept that at least some of the worldwide epidemic of obesity in the past 25 years is due to viral infections.


Related Articles

  • Absence of canine distemper antibodies in selected southern African non-domestic felids. Spencer, Jennifer A // South African Journal of Wildlife Research;Mar98, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p8 

    Presents information on a study that tested animals from various parks and zoos in southern Africa for the presence of antibodies to canine distemper virus. Areas surveyed; Species tested.

  • A canine distemper virus epidemic in Serengeti lions (Panthera leo). Roelke-Parker, Melody E.; Munson, Linda; Packer, Craig; Kock, Richard; Cleaveland, Sarah; Carpenter, Margaret; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Pospischil, Andreas; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Lutz, Hans; Mwamengele, George L. M.; Mgasa, M. N.; Machange, G. A.; Summers, Brian A.; Appel, Max J. G. // Nature;4/8/2010, Vol. 464 Issue 7290, p942 

    A correction to the article "A canine distemper virus epidemic in Serengeti lions (Panthera leo)," is presented.

  • Tracking a lion killer.  // U.S. News & World Report;2/12/96, Vol. 120 Issue 6, p10 

    Reveals the cause of the mysterious epidemic that killed about 1,000 lions in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park in 1994. Canine distemper virus, transferred from domestic dogs on the park fringes and carried by hyenas; The cause revealed in the journal `Nature' in February 1996.

  • Distemper found in animals in Wildwood and Chesterfield. Shapiro, Mary // West County Journal;10/17/2012, Vol. 48 Issue 42, pA2 

    The article reports on the increased number of sick raccoons infected with the canine distemper virus in the West County area in Wildwood and Chesterfield in Missouri, according to data from the Bi-State Widlife Hotline.

  • Assessing the threat of canine distemper to tigers.  // Veterinary Record: Journal of the British Veterinary Association;6/15/2013, Vol. 172 Issue 24, p626 

    The article discusses the world's first comprehensive tiger disease surveillance programme which aims to save the critically endangered Sumatran tigers due to canine distemper virus (CDV) and is soon to be launched in Indonesia.

  • A canine distemper virus epidemic in Serengeti lions (Panthera leo). Roelke-Parker, Melody E.; Munson, Linda // Nature;2/1/1996, Vol. 379 Issue 6564, p441 

    Reports on the identification of canine distemper virus (CDV) lions that died in an epidemic at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Pathogenesis of the disease; Phylogenetic relationship between CDV isolates from lions and domestic dogs; Magnitude of the epidemic.

  • Development of chimeric HIV Env immunogens for mucosal delivery with attenuated canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine vectors. Zhang, X.; Richlak, S.; Nguyen, H. T.; Wallace, O.; Morrow, G.; Caulfield, M.; Parks, C. // Retrovirology;2012 Supplement, Vol. 9 Issue Suppl 2, p1 

    An abstract of the research paper on the development of chimeric HIV Env immunogens related to mucosal delivery with attenuated canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine by X. Zhang and colleagues at AIDS Vaccine 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts is presented.

  • Distemper in the West. Hainer, Dale // Ontario Out of Doors;Aug2013, Vol. 45 Issue 7, p12 

    The article reports on the severe impact brought by canine distemper virus (CDV) on raccoon populations in parts of western Ontario in 2013.

  • Comparative trial of the canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus and canine adenovirus type 2 fractions of two commercially available modified live vaccines. Bergman, J. G. H. E.; Muniz, M.; Sutton, D.; Fensome, R.; Ling, F.; Paul, G. // Veterinary Record: Journal of the British Veterinary Association;11/25/2006, Vol. 159 Issue 22, p733 

    The results of vaccinating two groups of puppies with commercial vaccines, both of which claimed to provide adequate protection with a final vaccination at 10 weeks of age, were compared. Groups of 19 and 20 puppies with similar titres of maternally derived antibodies against canine parvovirus...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics