Contributor: Gordon K. Klintworth
Adenovirus infection is a viral infection caused by Adenovirus and the upper respiratory tract, pharynx, gastrointestinal tract, ocular mucosa and central nervous system are characteristically infected. Human adenovirus infection is caused by numerous immunologically discrete serotypes of adenovirus (> 40). Adenovirus types 1-11, 14-17,20,22, 26,27 have been implicated in human ocular disease. These infections are common and the conjunctiva is frequently infected. Several serotypes of adenovirus (types 8, 10, 19, 37) are responsible for conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis. The conjunctivitis, epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, and pharyngoconjunctival fever caused by adenovirus is self limiting and sometimes associated with uveitis. Ocular infection may be spread by swimming in contaminated swimming baths where chlorination is inadequate, by rubbing the eye with contaminated hands or iatrogenically via applanation tonometry without appropriate precautions. Adenovirus infection commonly occurs during an epidemic. The lower respiratory system is not affected and the conjunctivitis resolves without sequelae. Adenovirus type 3 stain is the most frequently isolated pathogen. Both adenovirus conjunctivitis and adenovirus keratoconjunctivitis are characterized by follicular conjunctivitis. The risk of infection with adenovirus depends upon serotype, size of inoculum, trauma, and immunity to a specific serotype.