Detection of hepatitis B virus DNA in tears by polymerase chain reaction

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994 May;112(5):621-5. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1994.01090170065024.

Abstract

Objective: To assess the possibility of transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) via tears.

Methods: Tear and plasma specimens were collected from 36 carriers of HBV, and the presence of HBV DNA was investigated using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results: Ten (29.4%) of the 34 carriers of chronic HBV and one of the two patients with acute hepatitis B had plasma specimens that were positive for HBV DNA using PCR. Sixteen (47.1%) of the 34 carriers of chronic HBV had tear specimens that were repeatedly positive for HBV DNA using PCR, 10 (29.4%) had tear specimens that were repeatedly negative, and the remaining eight (23.5%) had tear specimens that were equivocal. Both of the patients with acute hepatitis B had tear specimens that were positive for HBV DNA using PCR.

Conclusion: Hepatitis B virus DNA can be demonstrated in the tears of carriers, even those who were asymptomatic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier State / microbiology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Hepatitis B / microbiology
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis B virus / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tears / microbiology*

Substances

  • DNA, Viral