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Management of Adenoviral Keratoconjunctivitis: Challenges and Solutions

Authors Labib BA, Minhas BK, Chigbu DI

Received 26 November 2019

Accepted for publication 25 February 2020

Published 17 March 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 837—852


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Bisant A Labib, Bhawanjot K Minhas, DeGaulle I Chigbu

Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Salus University, Elkins Park, PA 19027, USA

Correspondence: DeGaulle I Chigbu Tel +1 215 991 4790

Abstract: Human adenovirus (HAdV) is the most common cause of infectious conjunctivitis, accounting for up to 75% of all conjunctivitis cases and affecting people of all ages and demographics. In addition to ocular complications, it can cause systemic infections in the form of gastroenteritis, respiratory disease, and dissemination in immunocompromised individuals. HAdV causes lytic infection of the mucoepithelial cells of the conjunctiva and cornea, as well as latent infection of lymphoid and adenoid cells. Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) is the most severe ocular manifestation of HAdV infection, in which the presence of subepithelial infiltrates (SEIs) in the cornea is a hallmark feature of corneal involvement. SEIs have the tendency to recur and may lead to long-term visual disability. HAdV persistence and dissemination are linked to sporadic outbreaks of adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis. There is no FDA-approved antiviral for treating adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis, and as such, solutions should be proffered to handle the challenges associated with viral persistence and dissemination. Several treatment modalities have been investigated, both systemically and locally, to not only mitigate symptoms but reduce the course of the infection and prevent the risk of long-term complications. These options include systemic and topical antivirals, in-office povidone-iodine irrigation (PVI), immunoglobulin-based therapy, anti-inflammatory therapy, and immunotherapy. More recently, combination PVI/dexamethasone ophthalmic formulations have shown favorable outcomes and were well tolerated in clinical trials for the treatment of EKC. Possible, future treatment considerations include sialic acid analogs, cold atmospheric plasma, N-chlorotaurine, and benzalkonium chloride. Continued investigation and evaluation of treatment are warranted to reduce the economic burden and potential long-term visual debilitation in affected patients. This review will focus on how persistence and dissemination of HAdV pose a significant challenge to the management of adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis. Furthermore, current and future trends in prophylactic and therapeutic modalities for adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis will be discussed.

Keywords: human adenovirus, adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis, antivirals, immunotherapy, povidone-iodine, viral dissemination

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