Author(s): Mueller AJ, Klauss V, Grtler L, Geier S
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Abstract Beside the risk of infection via HIV-1-contaminated blood, ophthalmologists are especially interested in the possibility of HIV-1 infection via tears. Therefore we tried to isolate HIV-1 from tears of 50 HIV-1-infected persons in different stages of disease by reverse transcriptase (RT) and by p24-antigen (p24-AG) in the cultures. Simultaneously we tried to isolate HIV-1 in the supernatant from peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), which was successful in 32 of the 50 examined specimens. HIV-1 could not be isolated from the tears of these persons. In addition, polymerasechain-reaction (PCR) was performed to detect proviral sequences (gag, pol, env) of HIV-1 in tears and blood of ten HIV-1-infected patients. While in all the examined patients gag, pol and env could be detected in the blood samples, only one tear sample was found positive for gag and pol DNA fragments. These results indicate that tears of HIV-1-positive contain extremely low quantities of tissue culture infectious doses (TCID) of HIV-1 in contrast to PBL. HIV-1 infection via tears therefore appears to be unlikely.
This article was published in Infection
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research