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Assessment of Coronavirus in the Conjunctival Tears and Secretions in Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Sohag Province, Egypt

Authors Mahmoud H, Ammar H, El Rashidy A, Ali AH, Hefny HM, Mounir A

Received 1 July 2020

Accepted for publication 31 August 2020

Published 15 September 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 2701—2708


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Hany Mahmoud,1 Hatem Ammar,1 Amr El Rashidy,2 Amal H Ali,3 Hesham M Hefny,4 Amr Mounir1

1Sohag Faculty of Medicine, Ophthalmology Department, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt; 2Tropical Medicine, Sohag Tropical Medicine Hospital, Sohag, Egypt; 3Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Microbiology, Aswan University, Aswan, Egypt; 4Clinical Pathology Department, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt

Correspondence: Amr Mounir
Sohag Faculty of Medicine, Ophthalmology Department, Sohag University, Almohafza Street, Mailbox: 82511, Sohag City, Egypt
Tel +201005026170
Email [email protected]

Purpose: To assess SARS-CoV-2 virus in conjunctival tears and secretions of positive confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Methods: A case series study that included 28 positive COVID-19 patients confirmed with nasopharyngeal swab in the period 18– 28 May 2020 at Sohag Tropical Medicine Hospital. Tears and conjunctival secretions of these confirmed positive cases were collected with disposable sampling swabs at interval of 3 days after admission due to respiratory symptoms. They were examined for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR) assay.
Results: Thirteen (46.43%) patients were stable, 4 (14.28%) patients suffered from dyspnea, 3 (10.72%) patients suffered from high fever, 5 (17.85%) patients suffered from cough, and 3 (10.72%) patients were on mechanical ventilation. Ten (35.71%) patients suffered from conjunctivitis. Tear and conjunctival swabs were positive in 8 (28.57%) patients, while other patients’ swabs were negative (71.43%). Out of 10 patients with conjunctival manifestations, 3 patients had SARS-CoV-2 in their conjunctiva using (RT‐PCR) test. Out of the 18 patients with no conjunctival manifestations, 5 patients had positive SARS-CoV-2 in their conjunctiva using (RT‐PCR) test.
Conclusion: The SARS-CoV-2 virus could be found in tears and conjunctival secretions in SARS-CoV-2 patients with or without conjunctivitis.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, conjunctiva, conjunctival secretions, tears, swab, RT‐PCR

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