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.

Fuente: Scientific Reports

Published: 04 May 2022