Ocular COVID-19: Eyes as a reservoir to conceal and spread SARS-CoV-2

Link to article at PubMed

Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2020 Jul 29. doi: 10.2174/1871526520999200729182242. Online ahead of print.


Ocular tissues can serve as a reservoir for the SARS-CoV-2 virus which can not only cause conjunctivitis but also serve as a resource of infection transmission to others. Additionally, the eye and its tear drainage apparatus can track the SARS-CoV-2 from the eye into the respiratory tract of the patient. The potential ocular presence of the SARS-CoV-2 in the eye of a patient can target ACE2 receptors in the endothelium of the conjunctival vessels and use the lacrimal sac a potential space to evade immune detection and clinical isolation. The recently reported case of COVID-19 after the acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 from a COVID-19 patient should alert the healthcare professionals dealing with COIVD-19 patients as wear-ing masks alone cannot guarantee protection against infection transmission. Further studies, like isolation of SARS-CoV-2 from the eyes of patients with COVID-19, needed to identify the eyes as a potential source of SARS-CoV-2 infection trans-mission.

PMID:32729433 | DOI:10.2174/1871526520999200729182242

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