July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Ebola virus persistence in aqueous humor and 12-month outcomes of cataract surgery in survivors of Ebola virus disease
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rachel Bishop
    National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  • Robin Demi Ross
    Global Retina Institute, Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
  • Jessica Shantha
    Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • Brent Hayek
    Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • Daniel Gradin
    OHSU, Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Benjamin Roberts
    Tenwek Hospital, Kenya
  • Ian Crozier
    NIAID, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  • Elizabeth Higgs
    NIAID, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  • Robert Dolo
    New Sight Eye Center, Monrovia, Liberia
  • Fred Amegashie
    Ministry of Health, Monrovia, Liberia
  • Gurcharan Singh
    Liberian Eye Center, Monrovia, Liberia
  • Kumar Nishant
    Liberian Eye Center, Monrovia, Liberia
  • Collin Van Ryn
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Cavan Reilly
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Steven Yeh
    Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • Allen O Eghrari
    Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Rachel Bishop, None; Robin Ross, Doctor's Advantate (I), Modernizing Medicine (C); Jessica Shantha, Santen (C), Santen (F); Brent Hayek, None; Daniel Gradin, None; Benjamin Roberts, None; Ian Crozier, None; Elizabeth Higgs, None; Robert Dolo, None; Fred Amegashie, None; Gurcharan Singh, None; Kumar Nishant, None; Collin Van Ryn, None; Cavan Reilly, None; Steven Yeh, Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health of the NIH K12HD085850 (F), Clearside Biomedical (C), NIH/NEI core grant P30-EY06360 (Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine) (F), Santen (C), Unrestricted departmental grant to Emory Eye Center from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. (F); Allen Eghrari, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 1012. doi:
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      Rachel Bishop, Robin Demi Ross, Jessica Shantha, Brent Hayek, Daniel Gradin, Benjamin Roberts, Ian Crozier, Elizabeth Higgs, Robert Dolo, Fred Amegashie, Gurcharan Singh, Kumar Nishant, Collin Van Ryn, Cavan Reilly, Steven Yeh, Allen O Eghrari; Ebola virus persistence in aqueous humor and 12-month outcomes of cataract surgery in survivors of Ebola virus disease. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1012.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Approximately 10% of Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors examined in Liberia presented with cataract. Surgical parameters in EVD survivors are unknown, including whether Ebola virus (EBOV) persists in aqueous humor, degree of post-operative inflammation, and potential for vision improvement. We assessed the presence of Ebola virus RT-PCR in aqueous humor of survivors and performed cataract surgery on EVD survivors and controls to compare post-op inflammation and visual rehabilitation.

Methods : The PREVAIL 7 Ebola Cataract Study is a prospective, controlled study that assessed eyes of survivors for Ebola virus persistence and cataract surgery outcomes. Anterior chamber (AC) taps were performed in sero-positive EVD survivors who were without intraocular inflammation to assess EBOV RT-PCR prior to surgery. 22 EVD survivors with negative AC taps and 8 control participants underwent small incision cataract surgery (SICS) with intraocular lens (IOL) placement. Follow-up exams were performed at day 1, week 1, and months 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12. We compare visual acuity (VA), degree of inflammation, and complications between survivors and controls.

Results : AC taps were negative for all EVD survivors. VA improved significantly in both survivors and controls (P<0.001). Mean VA improved from 20/200 at baseline to 20/40 at 1 year in survivors and from 20/1400 to 20/63 in controls. AC inflammation (grade 2 or greater by SUN criteria) was comparable between groups, persisting in 55% of survivors and 67% of controls at 1 month, 14% of survivors and 30% of controls at 6 months, and resolving in all participants by 1 year with extended anti-inflammatory therapy (P>0.05 for 1-, 6-, and 12-month between group comparisons). Complication rates were similar between groups, including IOL subluxation in one survivor and IOL subluxation with retinal detachment in one control, both requiring additional surgery.

Conclusions : EBOV was not detected in aqueous of survivors by RT-PCR. Cataract surgery via SICS was safe and feasible, resulting in improved vision and comparable complication rates between survivors and controls. Anti-inflammatory therapy was successful, often involving treating extended inflammation in both groups. This prospective, controlled study highlights VA benefit with a systematic approach to vision restorative surgery for EVD survivors.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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