1289. Correlation of Corrective Eyewear to Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) among Outpatient Healthcare Personnel (HCP)
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Clinical Infectious Diseases: Respiratory Infections
Friday, October 28, 2016
Room: Poster Hall

Background: Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are common among healthcare personnel (HCP); however, the risk factors associated with ARI in this population are not well studied. While typically thought to be contracted through the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth, there has been speculation of transmission of respiratory viruses via the conjunctiva.

Methods:  During 12 weeks of the 2013-4 and 2014-5 respiratory virus seasons, participating HCP in 7 locations across the US reported use of corrective eyewear (glasses or contacts) in a baseline survey and were surveyed daily for ARI symptoms. When symptomatic, a combined nasal and throat swab was obtained. In addition, two swabs were obtained at separate, randomly assigned times regardless of symptoms. Samples were tested for 13 viruses by RT-PCR/ESI-MS (Abbott Molecular). Paired pre- and post-season blood samples were tested for influenza antibodies with a ≥4-fold antibody increase defined as influenza infection. Participants were stratified into those who wore only glasses, only contacts, alternated between both, or wore neither. Results were analyzed using chi square tests.

Results:  Of the 3,341 eligible participants, 1,386 wore glasses, 145 contacts, 576 both and 1,234 neither. The proportion of positive swabs did not differ substantially across groups. The incidence of individual pathogens was similar between groups (p = 0.6) except for rhinovirus/enterovirus which showed varying levels of incidence (Figure 1). Serology identified 214 cases of influenza A and 62 cases of influenza B (Figure 2). Incidence of serological influenza infection was different between groups (10.3% contacts, 9.6% glasses, 7.3% neither, 6.6% both), which was marginally significant (p = 0.052) but driven by a marked higher rate of influenza B infection in the contacts group. This difference was not seen in the PCR confirmed 92 cases of influenza A or 8 of influenza B (p = 0.9).

Conclusion: Use of corrective eyewear affected the rate of respiratory infection in HCP, especially those due to rhinovirus/enterovirus and influenza B. Contacts were associated with the highest infection risk in both virological and serological results. The conjunctiva as a potential route of entry for respiratory pathogens requires further study.

Amanda Krosche, BS, Hospital Epidemiology & Infection Control, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Mary Bessesen, MD, VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Denver, CO, Derek Cummings, PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, Charlotte Gaydos, DrPH, FIDSA, Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Cynthia Gibert, MD, MSc, FIDSA, Washington, DC, VAMC, Washington, DC, Geoffrey Gorse, MD, FIDSA, VA St. Louis Healthcare System, St. Louis, MO, Jenna Los, MLA, Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Ann-Christine Nyquist, MD, MSPH, FPIDS, University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Aurora, CO, Connie Price, MD, Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado School of Medicine/ Denver Health and Hospital, Denver, CO, Lewis Radonovich, MD, Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration Office of Public Health, Gainesville, FL, Nicholas Reich, PhD, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, Maria C. Rodriguez-Barradas, MD, FIDSA, Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX, Michael S. Simberkoff, MD, FIDSA, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, New York, NY and Trish M. Perl, MD, MSc, FIDSA, FSHEA, Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD


A. Krosche, None

M. Bessesen, None

D. Cummings, None

C. Gaydos, None

C. Gibert, None

G. Gorse, None

J. Los, None

A. C. Nyquist, None

C. Price, None

L. Radonovich, None

N. Reich, None

M. C. Rodriguez-Barradas, None

M. S. Simberkoff, None

T. M. Perl, None

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