Scientists have found that the coronavirus can be transmitted through the tear fluid. The results of this study are published on the MedRxiv portal.
Experts from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that the cells on the surface of the eye contain not only the ACE-2 protein, which is considered the entry point for the virus but also TMPRSS2. This enzyme helps the virus enter after binding the viral protein to ACE —2.
It is noted that the presence of ACE-2 and TMPRSS2 in the same cell is sufficient for the virus to replicate effectively. Experts concluded that the cells of the eye surface are not only susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2 but can also serve as a “reservoir” for the virus.
“Infection of the eye surface cells can lead to the eye becoming a carrier of the virus, and the tear fluid containing virus particles becomes an important mechanism for its transmission to other people,” the scientists conclude.