A virus that causes sore throats and eye infections may also contribute to obesity, new research suggests. leaving infected people with more and larger fat cells than uninfected people have. The discovery could lead to the development of anti-obesity vaccines and may help explain why some obese people have healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the Guardian reports.
Obese people in a study released yesterday were three times more likely than the nonobese to be infected with adenovirus-36, which causes throat infections and pinkeye. Stem cells exposed to a-36 in the lab grew in both size and number, indicating for the first time a link between the virus and weight gain, a connection already established in a-36-infected animals.