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Pathogens ; 11(10)2022 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043896


Mucosal immunity, including secretory IgA (sIgA), plays an important role in the early defence against SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, a comprehensive evaluation of the local immune response in tears in relation to blood antibody reservoirs has not yet been conducted. A total of 179 symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients were included in this single-centre study. Conjunctival swabs were analysed by a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. In parallel, tear samples collected by Schirmer test strips and plasma samples were analysed by ELISA to detect anti-S1 IgA levels. The concentrations of selected inflammatory cytokines in tears were determined by a magnetic bead assay. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 sIgA was present in the tears of 81 (45.25%) confirmed COVID-19 patients, and the tear IgA levels were correlated with the plasma IgA levels (Rs = +0.29, p = 0.0003). SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the conjunctival sac was identified in 18 COVID-19 patients (10%). Positive correlations between the tear IgA level and the concentrations of several cytokines TNF-α (Rs = +0.23, p = 0.002), IL-1ß (Rs = +0.25, p < 0.001), IL-2 (Rs = +0.20, p = 0.007), IL-4 (Rs = +0.16, p = 0.04), IL-5 (Rs = +0.36, p < 0.001), IL-6 (Rs = +0.32, p < 0.001), IL-8 (Rs = +0.31, p < 0.001), VEGF (Rs = +0.25, p < 0.001) and GM-CSF (Rs = +0.27, p < 0.001) were also found. Quantitative tear film-based sIgA could potentially serve as a rapid and easily accessible biomarker of external mucosal immunity to SARS-CoV-2. The concentration of sIgA is directly related to individual host immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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.