Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis conducted a new study as per which the human eye is resistant to the infection from the COVID-19.
According to the study, “SARS-CoV-2 does not replicate at all” in the transparent layer known as the cornea.”
It has to be determined by the team whether the other tissue in and around the cornea like the tear ducts and the conjunctiva, are vulnerable to the virus.
However, it was stressed by the researchers that these surprise findings, which were published in the journal Cell Reports, are only initial.
The first author of the study molecular microbiologist Dr. Jonathan J. Miner said, “Our findings do not prove that all corneas are resistant.”
“But every donor cornea we tested was resistant to the novel coronavirus. It’s still possible a subset of people may have corneas that support growth of the virus, but none of the corneas we studied supported growth of SARS-CoV-2.”
Primarily the focus of the experiments were on the mouse and human corneas exposed to the herpes simplex (HSV-1, which produces cold sores), Zika and SARS-CoV-2 viruses.
A senior author said, “Some COVID-19 patients get eye symptoms, such as conjunctivitis (pinkeye), but it’s not clear that the viral infection itself causes that—it could be related to secondary inflammation.”
“The cornea and conjunctiva are known to have receptors for the novel coronavirus, but in our studies, we found that the virus did not replicate in the cornea.”