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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1015-1017

Presence of viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in conjunctival swab specimens of COVID-19 patients


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Minto Ophthalmic Hospital, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
5 Department of Pharmacology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kiran Kumar
Cataract, Cornea and Refractive Services, Minto Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru - 560 002, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1287_20

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Purpose: To detect the presence of viral RNA of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in conjunctival swab specimens of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients. Methods: Forty-five COVID-19 patients positive for real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal swab with or without ocular manifestations were included in the study. The conjunctival swab of each patient was collected by an ophthalmologist posted for COVID duty. Results: Out of 45 patients, 35 (77.77%) were males and the rest were females. The mean age was 31.26 ± 12.81 years. None of the patients had any ocular manifestations. One (2.23%) out of 45 patients was positive for RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 in the conjunctival swab. Conclusion: This study shows that SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in conjunctival swabs of confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients. Though the positivity rate of detecting SARS-CoV-2 in conjunctival swabs is very less, care should be exercised during the ocular examination of patients of COVID-19.


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