Recovery of Human immunodeficiency Virus from Ocular Tissues in Patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Herbert L. Cantrill, Keith Henry, Brooks Jackson, Alejo Erice, Fred M. Ussery, Henry H. Balfour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was recovered from multiple ocular tissues in three patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Consistently found in the retina, HIV was also detected in the conjunctiva, cornea, and iris. In two cases, HIV was detectable despite treatment with oral zidovudine. All three patients had bilateral cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis managed by intravitreal injection of ganciclovir. Culture of the retina for CMV was negative in all three cases. The finding of HIV in multiple ocular tissues is consistent with the neurotropic nature of the virus, and may explain some of the common ocular manifestations of AIDS such as AIDS retinopathy. Infection with HIV may predispose the retina to other opportunistic infections and may explain the high incidence of CMV retinitis in AIDS patients. This is the first report of HIV isolation from tissue within the eye.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1458-1462
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by NIAID Control #1·A1-72626 from the Nationallnsti· tutes of Health, The Minnesota Medical Foundation, The Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, and a grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • acquired immune deficiency syndrome retinopathy
  • cytomegalovirus
  • cytomegalovirus retinitis
  • human immunodeficiency virus, viral cultures

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