According to a report this month on pre-print server medRxiv, researchers at Ohio’s Center for Vision and Eye Banking Research performed an autopsy to evaluate the eye tissue of 10 people who tested positive for the virus.
From 20 eyes recovered from the group, the researchers found evidence for the genome of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the virus COVID-19.
Studies that have not been peer reviewed have found “small but notable proliferation” of SARS-CoV-2 in ocular tissues from COVID-19 donors, such as the posterior and anterior corneas, which are the surface area of the eye.
It was also found at the conjunctival, which is the tissue inside the eyelids and lighter, gel-like fluid filling the eye, the researchers said.
Omkar b. Sawant, who was the lead author, said the research – which he considers to be the first of its kind – could help illuminate whether there is a risk of viruses for ophthalmologists, as well as eye tissue donation and corn transplantation. .
“Our primary motivator is to ensure safe tissue for our surgeons and their patients,” Sawant told Newsweek.
“Our secondary motivator is one that has inspired the entire scientific community to conduct research around SARS-CoV-2: it is a novel virus and we are eager to learn as much as possible to try and save lives. ”
Deniz Atan, an ophthalmologist at the University of Bristol, UK, said more research was needed on whether the virus could be transmitted to the eye, but findings said it confirmed its presence there.
“This highlights the fact that eye surface layers and tears are a possible route for the transmission of the virus,” said Atan, who was not involved in the study.
“It is also possible that [the] The virus can be transmitted from certain tissues inside the eye. ”