Characterization of Ebola Virus-Associated Eye Disease

Allen O. Eghrari, Rachel J. Bishop, Robin D. Ross, Bionca Davis, Jemma Larbelee, Fred Amegashie, Robert F. Dolo, S. Grace Prakalapakorn, Catherine Gaisie, Catherine Gargu, Yassah Sosu, Jennie Sackor, Precious Z. Cooper, Augustine Wallace, Ruth Nyain, Maima Gray, Famatta Kamara, Bryn Burkholder, Christopher J. Brady, Vincent RayKirstin L. Tawse, Ian Yeung, James D. Neaton, Elizabeth S. Higgs, H. Clifford Lane, Cavan Reilly, Michael C. Sneller, Mosoka P. Fallah

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9 Scopus citations


Importance: Survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD) may experience ocular sequelae. Comparison with antibody-negative individuals from the local population is required to characterize the disease. Objective: To assess features of ophthalmic disease specific to EVD. Design, Setting, and Participants: This baseline cross-sectional analysis of survivors of EVD and their close contacts was conducted within PREVAIL III, a 5-year, longitudinal cohort study. Participants who enrolled at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Liberia, West Africa from June 2015 to March 2016 were included in this analysis. Close contacts were defined as household members or sex partners of survivors of EVD. Data were analyzed from July 2016 to July 2020. Exposures: All participants, both survivors and close contacts, underwent testing of IgG antibody levels against Ebola virus surface glycoprotein. Main Outcomes and Measures: Ocular symptoms, anterior and posterior ophthalmologic examination findings, and optical coherence tomography images were compared between antibody-positive survivors and antibody-negative close contacts. Results: A total of 564 antibody-positive survivors (320 [56.7%] female; mean [SD] age, 30.3 [14.0] years) and 635 antibody-negative close contacts (347 [54.6%] female; mean [SD] age, 25.8 [15.5] years) were enrolled in this study. Survivors were more likely to demonstrate color vision deficit (28.9% vs 19.0%, odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.1) and lower intraocular pressure (12.4 vs 13.5 mm Hg; mean difference, -1.2 mm Hg; 95% CI, -1.6 to -0.8 mm Hg) compared with close contacts. Dilated fundus examination revealed a higher percentage of vitreous cells (7.8% vs 0.5%; OR, 16.6; 95% CI, 5.0-55.2) and macular scars (4.6% vs 1.6%; OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.4-5.5) in survivors than in close contacts. Uveitis was present in 26.4% of survivors and 12.1% of close contacts (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.8-3.2). Among all participants with uveitis, survivors were more likely than close contacts to have intermediate uveitis (34.2% vs 6.5% of all cases; OR, 7.8; 95% CI, 3.1-19.7) and had thicker mean central subfield thickness on optical coherence tomography (222 vs 212 μm; mean difference, 14.4 μm; 95% CI, 1.9-26.9 μm). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study, survivors of EVD had a distinct spectrum of ocular and neuro-ophthalmologic findings compared with close contacts that potentially require medical and surgical treatment..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2032216
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2021

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