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Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Jul;18(7):e220-e227. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30102-6. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

The eyes have it: influenza virus infection beyond the respiratory tract.

Author information

1
Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address: jax6@cdc.gov.
2
Travelers' Health Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
3
Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

Avian and human influenza A viruses alike have shown a capacity to use the eye as a portal of entry and cause ocular disease in human beings. However, whereas influenza viruses generally represent a respiratory pathogen and only occasionally cause ocular complications, the H7 virus subtype stands alone in possessing an ocular tropism. Clarifying what confers such non-respiratory tropism to a respiratory virus will permit a greater ability to identify, treat, and prevent zoonotic human infection following ocular exposure to influenza viruses; especially those within the H7 subtype, which continue to cause avian epidemics on many continents.

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