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Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis: anti-coxsackievirus A24 variant secretory immunoglobulin A in acute and convalescent tear.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to present the clinical course of a laboratory-acquired case of acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) caused by coxsackievirus A24 variant (CA24v). Also, the anti-CA24v neutralizing activity and anti-CA24v immunoglobulin (Ig) G and secretory IgA (sIgA) in acute and convalescent tears and/or sera are presented.

CASE: A 60-year-old male presented with acute-onset left eyelid edema, tearing, conjunctival erythema, pain, foreign body sensation, and subconjunctival hemorrhage 24 hours after suspected laboratory exposure. Bilateral conjunctivitis presented 24 hours later and resolved in 10 days.

METHODS: Tear and blood samples were collected for virus isolation and neutralizing assays. CA24v-reactive IgG and sIgA in tear and/or serum samples were detected by immunofluorescent antibody analysis of ethanol-fixed virus-infected cells.

RESULTS: Peak tear neutralization titers (1,000-1,500 U/mL) against the isolated virus occurred 1 day post-onset (po) of AHC. Tear neutralization titers became undetectable by the sixth day as serum neutralization titers became detectable on the ninth day po (60 U/mL), peaked by 21 days (3,000 U/mL), declined by 1 year to 200 U/mL, and remained at 30 U/mL 5 years po. Antibody to human IgG, IgA, and secretory component (sIgA) reacted with CA24v-infected cells treated with pooled acute tears collected 1-4 days po. Predominantly, sIgA was detected in CA24v-infected cells treated with tears collected 4 years and 5 years post-AHC, while convalescent serum contained predominantly anti-CA24v IgG.

CONCLUSION: AHC was confirmed by CA24v isolation, tear anti-CA24v neutralizing activity, and seroconversion. The detection of CA24v-reactive IgG, sIgA, and neutralizing activity in tears collected 1-4 days po of AHC supports plasma extravasation of IgG and suggests a defensive role for tear anti-CA24v sIgA. The results suggest that immunofluorescent antibody analysis of tears for persistent anti-CA24v sIgA may be useful in epidemiological monitoring of AHC.

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