Detection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in donor eyes was performed. DNAs were extracted from the uvea, and they were amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Amplified viral DNAs were detected with liquid hybridisation and chemiluminescent assay in which no radioactive materials were used. This method was shown to have a sensitivity limit of fewer than 10 copies of HIV, making it much more sensitive than the current techniques employed in eye banks. The method was applied to 120 donor eyes, including four from donors seropositive for HBV. The HBV gene was detected in one case in which the donor's blood had not been tested for HBV. HIV and HCV genes were not detected in any of the samples. The assay could be an effective screening test for the detection of these viruses in eye bank eyes.
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