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Year : 1972  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3

Attempt to isolate trachoma agent from lacrimal-sac tissue

Dept. of Virolagy, Trachoma Research Centre, Aligarh, India

Correspondence Address:
N A Vali
Dept. of Virolagy, Trachoma Research Centre, Aligarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 4668544

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How to cite this article:
Vali N A, Goswami A P, Gupta U C. Attempt to isolate trachoma agent from lacrimal-sac tissue. Indian J Ophthalmol 1972;20:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Vali N A, Goswami A P, Gupta U C. Attempt to isolate trachoma agent from lacrimal-sac tissue. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1972 [cited 2023 Dec 10];20:1-3. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1972/20/1/1/34678

Table 1

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Table 1

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Trachoma is a chronic communi­cable disease of the eye caused by a specific agent belonging to the Psittacosis-lympho-granuloma­trachoma group. Invariably, the eye will be the reservoir of infec­tion. Atleast in the acute stages of the disease, the material from the infected eyes yield the agent on culture, but we are not sure of the same during the chronic stages. The sac is one of the regions of the eye which is involved, either primarily or as a secondary mani­festation of trachoma infection which is initiated in the conjunc­tiva or the canaliculi. This entity has been known since Weber [8] re­ported it for the first time in 1861. Much later, Cange [1] described the obstruction of the naso-lacry­mal duct due to trachoma infec­tion According to Girgis [4] about 50% of the sacs examined by him were in the cases which had been infected by trachoma. Thus the re­lationship between trachoma and sac involvement is highly presump­tive. According to Duke-Elder [3] , primary trachomatous dacryocys­titis is a rare occurrence but secondary involvement of the sac, after the primary involvement of the conjunctiva and canaliculi and the inflammatory reaction there­ from is not a rarity. Mac Callan [5] had reported that the inflamma­tion of lacrymal sac is more common in countries where trachoma infection is more prevalent and therefore concluded that trachoma is a contributory factor for the da­cryocystitis.

Papolezy [6] confirms the existence of trachoma as stated by Mac Callan', and other workers in the field. This confirmation is based on the demonstraction of follicles in the wall of the sac and also of the inclusion bodies in the epithe­lial cells.

Postic [7] on the other hand ob­served follicles regularly in non-­trachomatous and trachomatous cases, there being hardly any dif­ference between the two in this respect. Even the rupture of follic­cles into the lumen was seen in non-specific dacryocystitis similar to that seen in trachoma. He states that the principal difference seems in plasma cells which are more abundant in tracho.matous sacs, and the rarity of cicatrices. He concludes that the sequalae of dacryocystitis in many instances of trachoma infection is not due to the specific agent.

The lacrymal sac with its crypts and folds can give easy access to the infective agent. We have to try and find out whether the agent may get access to the region in the acute stage, can find lodge­ment in it and remain in a latent state or not. It has been shown that in chronic and healing stages of the infection, it is dif­ficult to demonstrate the organisms in the infected exudate or in the epithelial cells from the conjunctiva and cornea. It has also been the experience of clinicians, that the organisms do reappear on acute exacerbation or on experimental activation. These observa­tions have led us to imagine that they may be fcund in areas which may have the same environmental features as the conjunctival cells and are easily accessible to them.

It was reported by Attiah [1] (1963) that lacrymal gland may probably act as a latent habital of the tra­choma virus. It was also important that the virus itself, has never been observed in or isolated from the gland excretions. This prompt­ed Attiah and his associates to at­tempt to isolate the agent from the gland tissues from children show­ing active disease in stages I and II and also from adults in the chro­nic stages as III with a few folli­cles and from cases with scars. In both the latter group of cases there was absence of the virus in the epithelial layers. In their at­tempt, they were successful to iso­late TRIC agent from the lacrymal gland tissue from children in Stages I and II. These findings and earlier observations wich have been enumerated above have en­couraged us to try to isolate the specific agent from the lacrymal sac tissue by the routine isolation techniques.

  Material and Methods Top

Selection of Cases

Seven cases of dacrycyatitis with chronic trachoma in Stage III and two cases in Stage IV were select­ed from the indoor department of our hospital. Details of the cases are given in [Table - 1] with the re­sults.

In all the cases dacryocystec­tomy was performed and part of the tissue so removed was studied.

Method of Culture

A piece of lacrymal sac tissue measuring about 3 mm cube was cut with a sharp scalpel into small bits of one mm cubes. These pieces were transferred to a mortar and ground in 1 ml of our standard pre serving fluid (Vali) [5] . The standard fluid contained streptomycin in concentration of 20 mg. per ml. to supress the contaminating bac­teria. The ground suspension of the tissue was transferred to a 15 ml centrifuge tube and centrifuged at 800 r.p.m. for about ten minutes. This step sedimented the coarse tissue particles and the fibrous portion which could not be ground. The supernatent was collected and used as an inoculum. Half a ml of this supernatent was inoculated into the yolk sac of each of two embryonated chicken eggs aged about seven days in the routine way. The inoculated eggs were incubated. at 35˚C in a humi­dified egg incubator as a routine. and the viability of the embryos were watched. In the absence of any lethal effect on the eggs one of them was allowed to incubate and hatch out and the other egg was opened on the seventh cr eighth day post-inoculation (15th or 16th day of embiyonation) for further studies. Changes in the consistency of the yolk and the dif­ference in the transparency and brittleness of the yolk sac mem­brance were studied critically as compared to those in the embryo­nated normal eggs of the same age.

Part of the yolk sac tissue was ground and the emulsion was passed into fresh batch of em­bryonated egg of the same age as in previous passage. These pas­sages were made irrespective of the positive or negative findings of the presence or absence of the viral particles in order to increase the possibility of isolating the agent after the second or third such blind passage.

  Results Top

None of the inoculated embroys died after incubation for seven to eight days post-inoculation.

One egg from each of the groups was opened. The examination of the yolk sac revealed nothing abnormal. The transparency due to the thickness of the yolk sac membrane was in no way different from those of normal eggs em­broynated the same period.

Further there was no increase in the brittleness of the yolk sacmembrane which is one of the effects of the growth of the agent in the yolk sac. The consistency of the yolk was not different from that of the normal embryonated egg.

The stained smears from the em­bryonated yolk sac on microscopic examination did not reveal any particles resembling the trachoma agent.

  Conclusions Top

In our studies of the locrimal sac tissue from nine cases which were removed during dacryocy­stectomy, we did not find evidence of presence of trachoma agent, though the cases were of trachoma clinically proved to be in Stages III and IV. It is probable that the presence of the agent in the late stages of the disease is doubtful as is generally the case, even in con­juctival smear examination for the presence of inclusions.

To make the study more repre­sentative and statistically sound a larger series should be studied. Until it is proved otherwise we like to concur with the views of Postic [7] that dacryocystitis can not be a sequela to trachoma infection.

  References Top

Attiah, M. A. (1963) : J., Egypt. Med. Assoc. 46:74. (1963).  Back to cited text no. 1
Cange, A. ((1928) : Am. J. Oph. 11: 169 (Arch. d'Ophthal. 44:465 (1927).  Back to cited text no. 2
Duke-Elder (1952): Text book of Oph­thal., Vol. V. p. 5222. Pub. Kimpton (Lond.).  Back to cited text no. 3
Girgis, A. M. (1954): Abst. Oph. Literature 8:2140.  Back to cited text no. 4
Mac Callan. A. F. (1936): in Trachoma - Pub. Butterworth, Lond. p 36.  Back to cited text no. 5
Papolezy. V. F. (1934): Quoted by Garfin (1942). A. M. A. Arch. Ophthai. 27:180.  Back to cited text no. 6
Postic, S. (1957): Arch, d'Ophth. 17: 749. Abstracted in Am. J. Oph. 46:779 (1958).  Back to cited text no. 7
Vali, N. A. (1968): Am. J. Ophthal. 66:110.  Back to cited text no. 8


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