1 March 2014
The aim of this review is to describe the biology of human adenovirus (HAdV), the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of adenoviral epidemic keratoconjunctivitis and to present a practical update on its diagnosis, treatment, and prophylaxis. There are two well-defined adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis clinical syndromes: epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) and pharyngoconjunctival fever (PCF), which are caused by different HAdV serotypes. The exact incidence of adenoviral conjunctivitis is still poorly known. However, cases are more frequent during warmer months. The virus is endemic in the general population, and frequently causes severe disease in immunocompromised patients, especially the pediatric patients. Contagion is possible through direct contact or fomites, and the virus is extremely resistant to different physical and chemical agents. The clinical signs or symptoms of conjunctival infection are similar to any other conjunctivitis, with a higher incidence of pseudomembranes. In the cornea, adenoviral infection may lead to keratitis nummularis. Diagnosis is mainly clinical, but its etiology can be confirmed using cell cultures, antigen detection, polymerase chain reaction or immunochromatography. Multiple treatments have been tried for this disease, but none of them seem to be completely effective. Prevention is the most reliable and recommended strategy to control this contagious infection.