A large number of viruses have been found to be associated with ocular diseases, including human adenovirus, human herpesvirus (HHV), human T lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1), and newly emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This group of diseases is prone to be misdiagnosed or missed diagnosis, resulting in serious tissue and visual damage. Etiological diagnosis is a powerful auxiliary mean to diagnose the ocular diseases associated with human adenovirus, herpes simplex virus 1 and varicella-zoster virus, and it provides the leading diagnosis evidence of infections with herpes simplex virus 2, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, HHV-6/7, HHV-8, HTLV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. Virus isolation, immunoassay and genetic diagnosis are usually used for etiologic diagnosis. For genetic diagnosis, the PCR technique is the most important approach because of its advantages of rapid detection, convenient operation, high sensitivity and high specificity.
Keywords: Epidemiology; Etiologic diagnosis; Ocular diseases; Polymerase chain reaction; Review; Viral diseases.