Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology

Presence of SARS-Cov-2 in Nasopharyngeal and Conjunctival Swab of Residents of Hotspot Areas of Jaipur

Rekha Singh, Madhu Gupta, Mohammad Abbas Ali, Narottam Sharma, Avinsha Mathur, Vijay Arora, Vikas Krishnia
Department of ophthalmology, Rukmani Devi Beni Prasad Jaipuria Hospital (RDBP) Jaipuria hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Editor-in-Chief, Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology, Dr R.P.Centre, AIIMS.


Corresponding Author:

Rekha Singh, MS
Department of Ophthalmology 
RDBP Jaipuria hospital, Jaipur India
Email id: rekhamsingh@gmail.com


Received: 12-JUN-2020 Accepted: 15-AUG-2020 Published Online: 05-OCT-2021
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7869/djo.687

Abstract
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic, is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus  disease  2019 (COVID19),  caused  by severe  acute  respiratory  syndrome  coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV2). This is still a big question, whether the corona virus is present inconjunctival secretion or not? The relationship between COVID-19 and the ocular csurface (conjunctiva, corneal epithelium and tear film) as a potential portal of entry and as a transmission mechanism is currently under discussion due to the high transmission rate of the disease. We did this study to identify presence of the virus at the conjunctiva and prevention of spread in the ophthalmology context. 

Methods: This Community based descriptive observational study was done in different hot spot areas by department of ophthalmology of government RDBP Jaipuria hospital (attached RUHS-CMS) Jaipur, Rajasthan in collaboration with CMHO Jaipur team. Total 158 subjects from the 4 hotspot areas of 18 years to 60 years age group  (those who had history of contact with COVID positive patient) were included in our study and ophthalmological evaluation is done by torch light and tested for presence of SARS-Cov-2 by RT-PCR method in nasopharyngeal and conjunctival swab samples.

Results: Out of total 158 subjects, in all 4 hotspot areas (A+B+C+D), 37 (23%) were symptomatic, rest 121 were asymptomatic.In hotspot area C (closed campus), out of total 37 subjects, 20 were symptomatic. At all the 4 hotspots (A+B+C+D) out of total 158 screened subjects 29 (18.35%) were positive for nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19 but none of them had positive conjunctival swab. At hotspot C (closed campus) out of total 37 screened subjects 16 (43.24%) were positive for nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19 but none of them had positive conjunctival swab.

Conclusions: On the basis of our study, we can conclude that risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely through conjunctical secretions if patient is asymptomatic.

Keywords :Conjunctival Swab, Covid-19, Nasopharyngeal Swab, Sars Cov 2