Tears of an infected person also contain coronavirus? The answer is yes. The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) Chandigarh is working on using tears to check the severity of coronavirus and to detect the antibodies.
As per the report, PGI Chandigarh has enrolled 120 subjects out of which 30 were in healthy, moderate, mild, and severe categories.
According to the Principal Investigator Dr. Reema Bansal, this was a novel idea. She said that cytokines (proteins released in response to the infection) are present in tears in most eye diseases.
She added that if cytokines were all over the body, it should express in tears as well. This is being used as a hypothesis to find out the presence of antibodies and cytokine in coronavirus patients, Bansal added.
PGI is on with a two-year study as it will collect tears along with conjunctival and nasopharyngeal swabs along with the blood samples of coronavirus patients.
The samples (conjunctival swabs), collected from both the eyes, would be stored at -80 degrees Celsius for shipping to a lab.
She further said that the aim of the study was to have a faster, patient-friendly way of fluid collection for the novel virus and antibody tests.
We will look for a pattern if we find antibodies or cytokines. She also said that there was a theory that stated that the virus travels from the nose to the eyes while the other reports stated that it goes from the eyes to the nose.