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Novel infectious agents causing uveitis.

In any patient with uveitis, an infectious cause should be ruled out first. The differential diagnosis includes multiple well-known diseases including herpes, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, bartonellosis, Lyme disease, and others. However, clinician should be aware of emerging infectious agents as potential causes of systemic illness and also intraocular inflammation. Air travel, immigration, and globalization of business have overturned traditional pattern of geographic distribution of infectious diseases, and therefore one should work locally but think globally. This review recapitulates the systemic and ocular manifestations of several emergent infectious diseases relevant to the ophthalmologist including Rickettsioses, West Nile virus infection, Rift valley fever, Dengue fever, and Chikungunya. Retinitis, chorioretinitis, retinal vasculitis, and optic nerve involvement have been associated with these emergent infectious diseases. The diagnosis of any of these infections is usually based on pattern of uveitis, systemic symptoms and signs, and specific epidemiological data and confirmed by detection of specific antibody in serum. A systematic ocular examination, showing fairly typical fundus findings, may help establish an early clinical diagnosis, which allows prompt, appropriate management.

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