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Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7225, 2022 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890252


Tear fluid cytokine levels may serve as biomarkers of innate immune system response against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, our aim was to analyze panel of selected inflammatory cytokines in tears of COVID-19 patients in relation to presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral load in conjunctival secretions. In this study concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1b, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12 p70, GM-CSF, and IFN-γ were determined by a magnetic bead assay in tear film collected from 232 symptomatic COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 ocular infection was confirmed based on positive conjunctival swab-based RT-PCR testing. Viral RNA in conjunctival sac was detected in 21 patients (9%). No relation between presence and the duration of ophthalmic symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 infection detected in conjunctival secretions was found. The tear film concentrations of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-5, IL-8 and GM-CSF were found to be significantly greater among patients with positive conjunctival swab results as compared to the group negative for SARS-CoV-2 in conjunctival sac. Our current data depict a group of inflammatory mediators in human tears, which may play a significant role in ocular pathology of SARS-CoV-2 conjunctival infection.

COVID-19 , Conjunctiva , Cytokines , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor , Humans , Interleukin-5 , Interleukin-8 , SARS-CoV-2 , Tears , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
J Clin Med ; 11(9)2022 May 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847361


BACKGROUND: This study investigated the presence and duration of ophthalmic symptoms in the early phase of COVID-19 to assess the corresponding local immune response on the ocular surface. METHODS: The study included data from 180 COVID-19 patients and 160 age-matched healthy controls. The main finding was the occurrence of ophthalmological manifestations at the time of admission to the hospital and during the preceding 7 days. Tear film concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1b, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12 p70, GM-CSF, and IFN-γ were determined by a magnetic bead assay. RESULTS: Among the COVID-19 patients, 12.64% had at least one ocular symptom at the time of admission, and 24.14% had symptoms within the preceding 7 days (p < 0.001 vs. controls). We found that the COVID-19 patients complained more frequently about eye tearing (p = 0.04) and eye pain (p = 0.01) than controls. A multivariate analysis of the patients and controls adjusted for age and sex revealed that COVID-19 was an independent factor associated with higher VEGF and IL-10 tear film concentrations (ß = +0.13, p = 0.047 and ß = +0.34, p < 0.001, respectively) and lower IL-1ß, IL-8, and GM-CSF levels (ß = -0.25, p < 0.001; ß = -0.18, p = 0.004; and ß = -0.82, p = 0.0 respectively). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 does not attract a strong local response of the conjunctival immune system; therefore, ophthalmic symptoms may not constitute a substantial element in the clinical picture of novel COVID-19 infection.