Association of Ocular Inflammation and Rubella Virus Persistence.

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TitleAssociation of Ocular Inflammation and Rubella Virus Persistence.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGonzales JA, Hinterwirth A, Shantha J, Wang K, Zhong L, Cummings SL, Qian Y, Wilson MR, Acharya NR, Doan T
JournalJAMA Ophthalmol
Date Published2019 04 01
KeywordsAdult, Eye Infections, Viral, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Rubella, Uveitis

Importance: Metagenomic deep sequencing (MDS) demonstrates that persistent and active rubella virus (RV) infection is associated with Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis (FHI).

Objective: To assess the utility of MDS in identifying RV infection in patients with uveitis.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This case series assessed 6 patients diagnosed by MDS with RV-associated uveitis at a tertiary uveitis referral center in the United States.

Exposures: Prior RV infection.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Clinical examination findings, slitlamp photography, corneal confocal imaging, and infectious pathogen genome obtained from RNA sequencing.

Results: Six white men (age range, 36-61 years) were diagnosed with RV-associated uveitis by MDS. Three patients exhibited iris heterochromia associated with their uveitis in classic FHI fashion. The other 3 patients had less classic FHI features and exhibited anterior vitritis. Three patients had in vivo corneal confocal microscopy, with 2 demonstrating stellate keratic precipitates in addition to endothelial infiltration, spotlike holes, and enlarged intercellular boundaries. Of these 3 patients, 1 patient exhibited polymorphism and polymegathism of the endothelial cells.

Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that persistent RV infection is associated with recurrent or chronic anterior or anterior-intermediate uveitis as well as corneal endothelial cell damage. Ophthalmologists should consider RV infection as a potential cause of hypertensive anterior and intermediate uveitis.

Alternate JournalJAMA Ophthalmol
PubMed ID30589932
PubMed Central IDPMC6439711
Grant ListK08 EY026986 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
K12 HD085850 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States