Polyomaviruses, cytomegalovirus infection tied to childhood obesity
Seropositivity to polyomaviruses and cytomegalovirus (CMV) correlates with obesity in childhood, a recent study has shown.
Researchers recruited 687 children (52.4 percent male), in whom the presence of IgG antibodies to ten polyomaviruses and four herpesviruses was measured at age 4 years. Obesity traits, such as body mass index (BMI) standard deviation (SD) scores and skinfold thickness, were evaluated at age 4 and 6 years.
At the 4-year follow-up, the prevalence of overweight was 14.1 percent while that of obesity was 6.7 percent. The corresponding values at the 6-year follow-up was 21.8 percent and 9.6 percent. Children who were seropositive for the BKPyV polyomavirus were less likely to be obese at 4 years (49.6 percent vs 7.16 percent) and 6 years (12.27 percent vs 17.14 percent) than their seronegative counterparts.
The same was true for those who were seropositive for the KIPyV polyomavirus and the likelihood of obesity at 4 years (3.96 percent vs 8.85 percent). In comparison, those who were seropositive for CMV were more likely to be overweight at age 4 years (19.77 percent vs 12.16 percent).
Similar findings were obtained for obesity outcomes. Those who were seropositive for the BKPyV polyomavirus had significantly lower BMI SD scores at 4 years (β, –0.21; 95 percent CI, –0.39 to –0.03) and 6 years (β, –0.27; –0.48 to –0.05) of age. Trends were similar for waist circumference, body fat percentage and sum of skinfolds.
On the other hand, CMV-seropositive children had higher BMI SD scores at age 4 years (β, 0.28; 0.11–0.45) and 6 years (β, 0.24; 0.03–0.45), as well as the sum of skinfolds at 6 years (β, 4.75 mm; 0.67–8.83).