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Studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can infect the conjunctival mucosa.1- 4 Signs of ocular involvement have been reported in 11% to 32% of SARS-CoV-2 cases, with a rate of conjunctival swab (CS) positivity from 0% to 57%. Previous studies lacked a predetermined sample size, relied on questionnaires and/or interviews, or analyzed nonhospitalized and hospitalized patients receiving anti-inflammatory agents. In this study, we assessed the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2–related conjunctival manifestations and CS positivity on hospital admission (T1) and 3 days thereafter (T2) for a predetermined sample of patients not receiving anti-inflammatory treatment.
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: February 18, 2022.
Published: April 19, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.7734
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Pedrotti E et al. JAMA Network Open.
Corresponding Author: Erika Bonacci, MD, Ophthalmic Unit, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine, and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Policlinico G.B. Rossi, Piazzale L.A. Scuro 10, 37134 Verona, Italy (email@example.com).
Author Contributions: Dr Pedrotti had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Drs Pedrotti and Bonacci contributed equally to this study. Drs Gibellini and Marchini also contributed equally to this study.
Concept and design: Pedrotti, Bonacci, Bonetto, Gibellini, Marchini.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Pedrotti, Bonacci, Ligozzi, Bonetto, Kilian.
Drafting of the manuscript: Bonacci, Bonetto, Kilian, Gibellini.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Pedrotti, Ligozzi, Bonetto, Kilian, Gibellini, Marchini.
Statistical analysis: Bonacci, Kilian.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Ligozzi, Bonetto.
Supervision: Pedrotti, Gibellini, Marchini.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Ligozzi reported receiving grants from the Fondazione Cariverona during the conduct of the study. Dr Gibellini reported receiving grants from Fondazione Cariverona during the conduct of the study. Dr Marchini reported receiving personal fees from the University of Verona for advisory board and consulting work outside the submitted manuscript. No other disclosures were reported.
Additional Contributions: We thank Christine Kirchlechner, MD, Patrizia Raffl, MD, and Andreas Pichler, MD (Hospital of Meran), as well as Peter Marschang, MD (Hospital of Bozen), for their contribution to the collection of conjunctival swabs and data from the included patients. We thank Marco Anastasi, MD (Hospital of Verona), who also helped with the performance of conjunctival swabs and Andrea Di Clemente and Rosa Longo, MD (Hospital of Verona), who helped to analyze and interpret the collected data. We acknowledge the work of Adriano Fasolo, BS (Eye Bank Foundation of Veneto), who contributed to the critical analysis and revision of the manuscript.
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