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H. Inoue, R. Kimura, H. Migita, K. Kadonosono, E. Uchio; Is it Possible to Detect the Presence of Adenovirus in Conjunctiva Before the Onset of Conjunctivitis?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5539.
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It has been widely accepted that patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis are contagious approximately as long as 14 days after the onset. However, there is a controversy whether patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis in incubation period are contagious. We investigated the potential of the eye in incubation period as a source for spreading infection by analyzing the presence of adenovirus (Ad) in contralateral eyes before the onset in patients with bilateral adenoviral conjunctivitis by immunochromatography (IC) test and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis were directed to visit outpatient clinic approximately 3 days intervals until the onset of the contralateral eye. Conjunctival scrapings obtained from the first infected eye and the contralateral eye before and after the onset were tested by IC test and PCR method to detect Ad antigen.
Out of 32 cases, twenty-three cases (72%) developed conjunctivitis in the contralateral eye. Among these bilateral cases, 18 cases (78%) were found positive for Ad by PCR method after the onset of contralateral eye. However, no specimen obtained before the onset showed positive result of Ad in both tests.
Although there is a possibility that the eyes in incubation period of adenoviral conjunctivitis is contagious in some situation, these results suggest that the possibility of eye in incubation period as a source for spreading infection is very small.
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