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S. Petitpas, M. Baclet, S. Alain, P. Robert; Detection of Hsv by Real-Time Pcr in the Sclera of Corneal Donors. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):2889.
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The exclusion of donors with a potential of viral contamination is a major issue in corneal transplantation. The presence of HSV in its latent form in the cornea is a hypothesis which deserves to be confirmed. During virus latency, viral particles can be found along the nerves between ganglion and the target organ. As those particles can be detected in donor’s corneal tissue, it seems likely that they can be also detected in sceral tissue close to the nerve endings. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the presence of viral particles of HSV and VZV in the donor’s sclera, using real time PCR
On 54 potential corneal donors, we performed samples of aqueous humor, vitreous humor and 6 samples of sclera, clockwise differentiated. . Real-time PCR were performed on every sample, targeting HSV-1, HSV-2 and VZV sequences. The recipients underwent a regular follow up in order to check the tolerance of the graft and the eventual incidence of viral infection.
HSV DNA was found in 8 donors. For the sclera: in 4 donors (5 eyes, 4,7%), on 3H and 9H segments with an average of 174 copy per mg of tissue. When we found HSV DNA on 3H and 9H segments, PCR on 1H and 7H segments was performed and found positive for 2 patients only. HSV DNA was also found in 3 aqueous humors and in 6 vitreous humor samples. A half of these corneas have been grafted. No primary graft failure and no viral reactivation were encountered in recipients.
Screening for HSV in sclera is possible and can disclose viral DNA in corneal donors.
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