Though the viral particles were found in the retina of patients who died of COVID-19, but more studies are needed to confirm or refute the results.
As a part of the study, deceased COVID-19 patients' eyes were evaluated by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). All the patients were aged between 69 to78 years. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed S and N viral proteins identified as virus particles similar to particles observed in COVID-19-infected cell cultures.
The researchers noted that particles with a diameter varying from 60 to 70 nm were seen in the perinuclear region of the inner nuclear layer (INL) cells.
Another study conducted on May 13 by the Public Library of Science analyzed five pairs of eyes of deceased COVID-19 patients. Histopathological examinations and qRT-PCR-testing were carried out for all retinal tissues and vitreous fluids.
However, the study showed no significant level of SARS-CoV-2-RNA in the retinal and vitreous fluid samples of deceased COVID-19 patients. Histopathological tests confirmed that there was no sign of damage to retinal vasculature or tissues. The study concluded that further studies are needed to confirm or refute the results.
A study published by Nature also stated limited available information regarding SARS-CoV-2 and ocular structures tropism.
Considering that Federal University's research found COVID-19 particles within the cells of the human retina's inner-outer nuclear layers; whereas, other studies didn't find SARS-CoV-2 viral particles; therefore, we mark this claim as partly true.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.