Purpose: To report mycobacterial load in the vitreous of patients labeled as having Eales’ disease.
Methods: Eighty-eight patients were prospectively enrolled into 3 groups: 28 patients with so-called Eales’ disease (group A); 30 positive controls with specific uveitis syndromes (group B), and 30 negative controls (group C). The undiluted vitreous humor samples were collected and subjected to real-time PCR assay for MPB64 gene of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and load quantified.
Results: Sixteen (57.14%) vitreous fluid samples in group A; 1 sample in group B, and none of the samples in group C were positive for MTB genome from the vitreous. The copies of MTB genomes in the positive samples in group A were 1.52 × 104 to 1.01 × 106.
Conclusion: MTB genome was demonstrated in more than 50% of vitreous fluid samples with significant bacillary load, indicating that half of patients with so-called Eales’ disease are indeed cases of tubercular vasculitis.