Study: conjunctival infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely
A few weeks ago, experts from the USA have pointed out that the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can also cause conjunctival inflammation. Researchers from Germany, now report a study that shows that infections of the conjunctiva by the new pathogens are unlikely.
The American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO) has pointed out a few weeks ago on reports that indicate that the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can also cause conjunctival inflammation. Researchers from the University hospital of Freiburg reports, however, that conjunctival infections by the Virus is unlikely.
Conjunctival inflammation in COVID-19-Ill
As the University hospital of Freiburg, explained in a recent communication, the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 specific proteins on the surface of human cells as a door opener to get into the cells to invade and multiply.
Occasionally, it was also reported on patients with inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye at COVID-19-disease. So far, however, it was unclear whether binding to the skin cells for the new Virus are susceptible, and therefore a potential Einfallsort for SARS-CoV-2-viruses could be.
Researchers from the University hospital of Freiburg now show in a study that infections of the conjunctiva by SARS-CoV-2 are unlikely. The results were published recently in the journal “Journal of Medical Virology”.
New pathogens may infect different organs
“According to our research, it is unlikely that SARS can trigger a CoV-2, a conjunctival infection,” says Prof. Dr. Günther Schlunck, head of the research group at the Department of ophthalmology of the University hospital Freiburg.
Previous studies suggest that the Coronavirus can infect multiple organs. Door opener-proteins such as the Receptor ACE-2, and the enzyme TMPRSS2, which the new pathogen into human cells, can penetrate, have been detected in the liver, in the stomach, as well as in the respiratory tract of infected people.
Prof. Schlunck, Prof. Dr. Clemens Long, and other scientists of the clinic of ophthalmology at the University hospital in Freiburg is now investigating whether these proteins the skin on the connective cells are present.
“Currently, much uncertainty still reigns, as the new Coronavirus people infected. Here, we wanted to contribute to the clarification,“ explains Professor Lange, the first author of the study.
Viruses could get into the tear film
For this purpose, the researchers analyzed tissue samples of conjunctiva of 46 patients who were not suffering from COVID-19. With RNA sequencing, the eyes tested by doctors and eye doctors, whether or not precursor molecules (mRNA), which serve for the manufacture of the door opener-proteins, the samples in the tissue were present.
In addition, by immunohistochemical staining in the samples of existing proteins were made by using labeled antibodies visible.
According to the figures, in any of the samples, significant quantities of ACE-2 or TMPRSS2 were found. This is an infection of the conjunctiva by SARS-CoV-2 bind to ACE-2, according to the experts, very unlikely.
“It is possible, however, that viruses get into the tear film and on the efferent tear ducts and the nasal mucosa to reach the upper respiratory tract, where infection can cause,” explains Prof. Schlunck.
Furthermore, comprehensive Hygiene and protection measures, appropriate
Although a conjunctival infection with SARS-CoV-2-viruses is unlikely to have comprehensive Hygiene and protection measures continue to be appropriate.
As Professor explained, should Doctors, Patients with close contact to COVID-19-“nevertheless, be careful to protect the mouth, nose and where the eyes effectively.” (ad)