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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 46-48

Presence of SARS-CoV-2 in human tears detected by quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR)


1 Optometry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Optometry and Visual Sciences, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharastra, India
2 Central research facility, Physiology, community medicine, microbiology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharastra, India
3 Center for online Learning, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharastra, India

Correspondence Address:
Neeta Mishra
Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Optometry and Visual Sciences, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharastra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_708_20

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Background: COVID-19 has caused a pandemic since the end of the year 2019. Controversy regarding the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 in tears and conjunctival sac has created suspense throughout. Moderate to severe dry eye has been observed in the patients infected with COVID-19. Material and Method: We conducted a descriptive, prospective observational study. We enrolled 16 patients fulfilling the inclusion criteria for our study. Patients affected with acute COVID-19 from 28-9-2020 to 9-10-2020 registered at our hospital and willing to participate were included. Tears and conjunctival swabs were taken at the interval of 24 h; consecutively three samples were taken from one COVID-19 infected patient. In total, 48 samples were analyzed by qRT-PCR. Result: We had 16 participants, 47% were females and 53% were males; 2/16 [12.5%] patients showed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in tears and conjunctival swabs. Both the infected patients were females, and they did not have any obvious abnormal ocular conditions. Schirmer strip reading, however, showed a severe dry eye in both the patients. Conclusion: We identified dry eye ranging from mild to moderate to severe [Schirmer 1 reading ranged from 2 to 8 mm] in all our patients admitted to the COVID-19 ward. The SARS-CoV-2 gene seems to be mutating. More work needs to be done to find the viral load in the tears and any abnormalities in the eyes accordingly.


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