QUICKLINKS AND VIEW OPITONS
Test for obesity virus coming soon
Monday, October 11, 2004 6:39 am Email this article
"For around $125, people will be able to find out if they've been infected with a virus that might make them fat," according to a new paper.
Obesity researcher Richard Atkinson, who is a founder of the American Obesity Association, has launched a new biotech company called Obetech that plans to offer an antibody test for adenovirus-36, that has been associated with obesity.
Steven Heymsfield, M.D. from Obesity Research Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY, questions the usefulness of this test since there is no treatment for this virus.
Dr. Atkinson was quoted as saying, ???If skinny people get this assay and it’s positive, they’ll know they’re at risk and should adopt a different lifestyle???.
Atkinson says he is hoping that everybody, not just fat people, will view Ad-36 testing as similar to a cholesterol test, identifying a risk factor for disease.
“In a study of 500 people, the researchers found that about 30 percent of the obese, but only 11 percent of the non-obese, possessed adenovirus-36 antibodies,” the article notes.
Among 26 twin in which one twin was infected but the other was not, the twin that had the virus were heavier than the twin that did not.
Powledge T. Is obesity an infectious disease? Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Oct, 4(10):599.
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