Transmissibility of adenovirus-induced adiposity in a chicken model

N. V. Dhurandhar, B. A. Israel, J. M. Kolesar, G. Mayhew, M. E. Cook, R. L. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We previously reported that human adenovirus Ad-36 induces adiposity and paradoxically lower levels of serum cholesterol (CHOL) and triglycerides (TG) in animals. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the transmissibility of Ad-36 and Ad-36 induced adiposity using a chicken model. DESIGN: Experiment 1 - four chickens were housed (two per cage) and one from each cage was inoculated with Ad-36. Duration of presence of Ad-36 DNA in the blood of all chickens was monitored. Experiment 2 - two groups of chickens were intranasally inoculated with Ad-36 (infected donors, I-D) or media (control donors, C-D). Blood drawn 36 h later from I-D and C-D groups was inoculated into wing veins of recipient chickens (infected receivers, I-R, and control receivers, C-R, respectively). On sacrifice, 5 weeks post-inoculation, blood was drawn, body weight noted and visceral fat was separated and weighed. RESULTS: Experiment 1 - Ad-36 DNA appeared in the blood of the inoculated chickens and that of uninoculated chickens (cage mates) within 12 h of inoculation and the viral DNA persisted up to 25 days in the blood. Experiment 2 - compared with C-D, visceral and total body fat were significantly greater and CHOL significantly lower for the I-D and I-R. TG were significantly lower for the I-D. Ad-36 was isolated from 12 out of 16 blood samples of the I-D that were used for inoculating I-R chickens. Ad-36 DNA was present in the blood and the adipose tissue of the I-D and I-R but not in the skeletal muscles of animals selected randomly for testing. CONCLUSION: As seen in experiment 1, Ad-36 infection can be transmitted horizontally from an infected chicken to another chicken sharing the cage. Additionally, experiment 2 demonstrated blood-borne transmission of Ad-36-induced adiposity in chickens. Transmissibility of Ad-36-induced adiposity in chicken model raises serious concerns about such a possibility in humans that needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-996
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge Drs Geoffrey Letchworth and Lisa Krugner-Higby for advice on virological aspects and Sharon Gathright and Kathleen Taylor for laboratory assistance. This work was supported by funds from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's Beers-Murphy Clinical Nutrition Center.


  • Ad-36
  • Body fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Triglycerides
  • Visceral fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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