About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

How Ebola Causes Retinal Lesions

by Anjali Aryamvally on May 16, 2018 at 7:57 PM
Font : A-A+

How Ebola Causes Retinal Lesions

New study identifies the specific characteristics of Ebola retinal lesions, which provide further clues as to how the virus travels to the retina and causes damage. The study was conducted by a research team from the University of Liverpool and published in JAMA Ophthalmology .

Viruses, like Ebola , can stay hidden in our bodies by exploiting a vulnerability in our immune systems. This vulnerability is called "immune privilege," and comes from an old observation that foreign tissue transplanted into certain parts of the body don't elicit the usual immune response. This includes the brain, spinal cord, and eyes. Scientists believe this is because the brain, spinal cord, and eyes are simply too delicate and important to withstand the inflammation that's typical of an immune response to infection.

Advertisement


In 2016 an eye team led by Dr Paul Steptoe, compared eye examinations of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone and a control population. A total of 82 Ebola survivors who had previously reported ocular symptoms and 105 unaffected controls from civilian and military personnel underwent ophthalmic examination, including widefield retinal imaging. The team identified a unique retinal scar in 15% of Ebola survivors who reported eye symptoms after recovering.

In the latest study the researchers used a non-invasive imaging test called Optical coherence tomography (OCT) to take pictures of the retinas of the survivors with this Ebola retinal scar. These images provide a high resolution, cross-sectional view of the retina.
Advertisement

These images help demonstrate that within these Ebola retinal scars there are multiple, microscopic focal areas of damage to the retinal layers corresponding to the photoreceptors with a collapse of the overlying retinal structures. This pattern of scarring supports a theory that the virus travels along neuronal structures within the retina.

The researchers also identified areas of abnormal retina surrounding the Ebola retinal scars in 89% of cases. The affected areas appear darker than the normal retina and are due to a change in the reflectance of a layer of the retinal layer called the Ellipsoid zone which contains a high concentration of mitochondria which are the structures that create energy to run the cell.

Dr Paul Steptoe, said: "This is the first time this appearance has been associated with a retinal infection and implies the virus may be causing a wider effect to the surrounding retinal cells beyond the boundary of the scars. Our observations of these areas continue as part of a long-term study Ebola survivors.

"In the cases we have identified, the position of the scars did not involve the part of the retina responsible for fine central vision, but in survivors where scars are close to this area, we have detected permanent visual field defects.

"The retina offers a landscape on which to observe and better understand the long-term complications of Ebola virus disease that include ophthalmic and neurological problems."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Congo Fever Retinal Detachment Ebola Virus Disease 

Recommended Reading
Ebola Outbreak Declared in Democratic Republic of the Congo
The new Ebola outbreak declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be a serious ......
Mass Vaccinations Do Not Prevent Ebola Virus Outbreaks
Mass vaccination programmes are ineffective and unrealistic to combat Ebola virus outbreak. ......
Congo Faces Ninth Ebola Outbreak : 17 Dead
Ebola affects Congo and takes away 17 lives, and 21 cases were diagnosed with fever signs. The ......
Antibodies From a Specific Ebola Virus can Help Develop New Therapies
Antibodies from human survivors of Ebola Bundibugyo have been used to design proper therapeutic ......
Congo Fever
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral disease that affects people who are bitten by infe...
Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola is caused by a virus via direct contact with body fluids or infected blood. Scientists have id...
Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment needs to be treated as soon as possible for good visual recovery. Its surgery in...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use