Objective To determine if Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be detected in corneas of donors who have active tuberculosis (TB) disease using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or culture.
Design This is a prospective cross-sectional study.
Participants 25 corneas (12 from TB-negative donors and 13 from TB-positive donors) from the Sta. Lucia International Eye Bank were submitted to the TB Research Laboratory, Medical Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, UP-PGH, for diagnostic evaluation.
Intervention Corneas were evaluated using PCR test for M tuberculosis. Acid-fast bacilli smear and culture were also done.
Main outcome measures Result of laboratory findings.
Results Among 12 TB-negative donors, there were 2 (16.67%) corneas that were PCR negative for M tuberculosis, whereas 10 (83.33%) corneas were PCR positive for M tuberculosis. Among 13 TB-positive donors, there were 7 (53.85%) corneas that were PCR negative for M tuberculosis, whereas 6 (46.15%) corneas were PCR positive for M tuberculosis. All cultures were negative.
Conclusion PCR for M tuberculosis was positive for some TB-positive donors as well as TB-negative donors. However, all cultures were negative. It is recommended that further studies be done to investigate if recipients with PCR-positive corneas will eventually lead to disease transmission or not. It is further recommended that such findings be used to re-evaluate criteria for suitability of donors with tuberculosis.
- eye (tissue) banking
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the institutional/ethics review board of the East Avenue Medical Center.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.