Human adenovirus Ad36 is causally and correlatively associated in animals and humans, respectively, with increased adiposity and altered metabolic profile. We inoculated rats with Ad36 or UV-inactivated Ad36, or mock-infected them. Four days later, Ad36-infected rats showed 23% greater epididymal fat pad weight and viral mRNA; the viral DNA could also be detected in tissues viz. the liver, brain, and adipose tissue. Intranasal or intra-peritoneal routes of viral inoculation showed similar tissue affinity. The serum cytokine response was markedly down-regulated. Ad36 acutely suppresses the systemic immune response and spreads widely. This information will help to determine Ad36 tissue tropism and its metabolic consequences.