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Review

The Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on the Ocular Surface and Prevention Strategies

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 6020841, Japan
2
Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA 94945, USA
3
Institute of Medical Microbiology, Jena University Hospital, 07743 Jena, Germany
4
Department of Ophthalmology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo 1138421, Japan
5
Department of Strategic Operating Room Management and Improvement, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo 1138421, Japan
6
Department of Hospital Administration, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo 1138421, Japan
7
Department of Digital Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo 1138421, Japan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eri Kubo
Cells 2021, 10(4), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10040796
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 27 March 2021 / Accepted: 31 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global health problem. Although the respiratory system is the main impaired organ, conjunctivitis is one of its common findings. However, it is not yet understood if SARS-CoV-2 can infect the eye and if the ocular surface can be a potential route of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions. Our review focuses on the viral entry mechanisms to give a better understanding of the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and the eye. We highlighted findings that give evidence for multiple potential receptors of SARS-CoV-2 on the ocular surface. Additionally, we focused on data concerning the detection of viral RNA and its spike protein in the various ocular tissues from patients. However, the expression level seemed to be relatively low compared to the respiratory tissues as a result of a unique environment surrounding the ocular surface and the innate immune response of SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, our review suggests the ocular surface as a potential route for SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and as a result of this study we strongly recommend the protection of the eyes for ophthalmologists and patients at risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID conjunctivitis; COVID-19; ACE2; virus entry; ocular transmission SARS-CoV-2; COVID conjunctivitis; COVID-19; ACE2; virus entry; ocular transmission
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kitazawa, K.; Deinhardt-Emmer, S.; Inomata, T.; Deshpande, S.; Sotozono, C. The Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on the Ocular Surface and Prevention Strategies. Cells 2021, 10, 796. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10040796

AMA Style

Kitazawa K, Deinhardt-Emmer S, Inomata T, Deshpande S, Sotozono C. The Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on the Ocular Surface and Prevention Strategies. Cells. 2021; 10(4):796. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10040796

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kitazawa, Koji, Stefanie Deinhardt-Emmer, Takenori Inomata, Sharvari Deshpande, and Chie Sotozono. 2021. "The Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on the Ocular Surface and Prevention Strategies" Cells 10, no. 4: 796. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10040796

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