The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than 100 million people and resulted in morbidity and mortality around the world. Even though the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is characterized by respiratory tract involvement, previous and recent data also indicates ocular manifestation. Not surprisingly, cell entry point of the virus, ACE2 receptor, is widely expressed in ocular tissues ranging from conjunctiva to retina. Despite the sensibility of ocular tissues, the sophisticated defense mechanism of the eye might eliminate viral transmission. Nevertheless, the potential of systemic transmission through the nasolacrimal duct may not be eliminated. In the case of ocular involvement, the disease outcomes might be as treatable as conjunctivitis or as serious as retinal degeneration and the treatment regimen vary accordingly. Within these contingencies, our aim with this chapter is to shed light on molecular bases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, systemic invasiveness following ocular transmission, manifestation and permanent effects on ocular tissues.
Part of the book: Infectious Eye Diseases