Objective: This study aimed to answer 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: Twenty five corneas ( 12 from TB negative donors and 13 from TB positive donors) from Sta. Lucia International Eye Bank (SLIEB) were submitted PGH Medical Research Laboratory for diagnostic evaluation.
Intervention: Corneas were evaluated using PCR test for M. tuberculosis. AFB 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 which were PCR negative for M. tuberculosis , while 10 (83.33%) corneas were PCR positive for M. tuberculosis.Among 13 TB positive donors, there were 7 (53.85%) corneas which were PCR negative for M tuberculosis, while 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 and well as TB negative donors.But all cultures was 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.