- A new study has found genetic fragments of the zikavirus in the tear fluid of infected laboratory mice. The discovery may reject new light on how people become infected with the dreaded pathogen. So far it was assumed that the transfer was done by mosquitoes and in some cases by sexual contact.
,, Our researches suggesting that the eye a reservoir zika can be, '' said Michael Diamond of Washington University, St. Louis.,, We have to check whether people have the infectious virus in their eyes and how long it stays there actually. '' The article about the findings of his group published in the journal Cell Reports.
Diamond and his team infected mice with a subcutaneous injection similar to a pitch of a gelekoortsmug. A week later, the active virus was found in the eyes of the experimental animals. In a subsequent test 28 days later, the mice were found to contain tears genetic material but not the infectious virus itself.
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,, We will now investigate whether the infectious virus in humans can survive in the cornea or other parts of the eye, because that would affect include corneal transplants, '' said co-author Rajendra Apte. In the past, patients become inadvertently contaminated by this procedure with a virus from the bloodstream, such as herpes.
Zika is true that, in most cases, spread by mosquitoes but can also maintain itself in parts of the body where the immune system is less active. That explains why the virus present in semen, saliva, urine and possibly also tears.