The alpha 1-antitrypsin and serum albumin levels in tear fluids were measured by electroimmunodiffusion in 76 healthy subjects and 63 patients with acute adenovirus conjunctivitis. They were found to be significantly increased during the acute phase of the disease. There was a correlation between increased severity of disease and increased levels of both the proteins. There was no significant difference in the tear alpha 1-antitrypsin and serum albumin levels in viral isolation-positive and isolation-negative patients. The raised levels of the two proteins in tears may reflect conjunctival inflammation rather than infection, since both isolation-positive and isolation-negative patients had the raised levels. The levels of the two proteins returned to normal with clinical improvement.
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