TNOA Journal of Ophthalmic Science and Research

: 2020  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134--135

COVID Journal review

Nivetha Gandhi 
 Department of Cornea, RIO GOH, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nivetha Gandhi
Department of Cornea, RIO GOH, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Gandhi N. COVID Journal review.TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res 2020;58:134-135

How to cite this URL:
Gandhi N. COVID Journal review. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Sep 26 ];58:134-135
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 Assessing Viral Shedding and Infectivity of Tears in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Patients

Seah IY, Anderson DE, Kang AE, Wang L, Rao P, Young BE, Lye DC, Agrawal R. Assessing viral shedding and infectivity of tears in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Ophthalmology 2020; S0161-6420(20)30311-0. [doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2020.03.026]

Aim: To assess the viral shedding and infectivity of tears in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients whether nasolacrimal system can act as a conduit for viruses to travel from the upper respiratory tract to the eye. Methods: Seventeen COVID-19 patients were recruited for this prospective study in Singapore. The COVID-19 patients showed positive results by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of the nasopharyngeal swab samples in a clinical diagnostic laboratory. Nasopharyngeal swab samples from them were collected in a universal viral transport medium, and RNA extraction was carried out using RT-PCR analysis. Tears were sampled using a Schirmer test strip at varying time points between 3 and 20 days after the initial development of symptoms. Samples from both eyes were obtained and analyzed separately. Samples were delivered to a research laboratory for processing in the universal transport media for RT-PCR analysis of viral RNA. Samples were also inoculated into Vero-E6 cells and observed for the presence of cytopathic effect. A total of 64 samples were obtained over the study period, with 12, 28, and 24 samples obtained from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd week of initial symptoms, respectively. Results: The results showed no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 shedding in tears throughout the course of the disease. Only one patient showed ocular symptoms during the disease course, and no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 could be found in tear samples. Limitations: First, the samples were analyzed in different laboratories using two different assays. Second, only tears were sampled, rather than conjunctival tissue to reduce patient distress in a pandemic. Third, the study had a small sample size because of the logistical limitations of the outbreak response. Conclusion: The results from the study suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission through tears is low. However, further definitive mechanistic studies are required.

 Characteristics of Ocular Findings of Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Hubei Province, China

Wu P, Duan F, Luo C, Liu Q, Qu X, Liang L, et al. Characteristics of ocular findings of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hubei Province, China. JAMA Ophthalmol 2020.

Aim: To investigate ocular manifestations and viral prevalence in the conjunctiva of patients with COVID-19. Methods: Thirty-eight consecutive patients with COVID-19 were recruited. The patient symptoms, ocular manifestations, chest computed tomographic scans, and results of blood tests and RT-PCR from the nasopharyngeal and conjunctival swabs for SARS-CoV-2 were noted and analyzed. Results: Among the 38 patients, 28 had positive findings for COVID-19 on RT-PCR from the nasopharyngeal swabs, and of these, two patients yielded positive findings in their conjunctival as well as nasopharyngeal specimens. A total of 12 of 38 patients had ocular manifestations consistent with conjunctivitis. Limitations: First, the study includes a relatively small sample size. Second, the sampling was made only once from the eye which can decrease the prevalence owing to false negatives. Conclusion: In this study, one-third of the patients with COVID-19 had ocular abnormalities, which frequently occurred in patients with more severe COVID-19. Although there is a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in tears, it is possible to transmit via the eyes.

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