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2005 Gregg Lecture: Congenital cataract – from rubella to genetics


  • David A Mackey FRANZCO

    Corresponding author
    1. Eye Clinic, Royal Hobart Hospital, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania,
    2. Eye Research Australia, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne, and
    3. Ocular Diagnostic Clinic, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne, Australia
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Associate Professor David A Mackey, Eye Research Australia, 1/32 Gisborne Street, East Melbourne, Vic. 3002, Australia. Email:


On the 65th anniversary of Gregg's observation ‘Congenital cataract following German measles in the mother’, rubella has retired as the leading cause of congenital cataract, from 87% of Gregg's cohort to less than 3% over the last 25 years and almost zero now in Australia and other developed countries. However, people must keep vigilance in maintaining immunization rates and encourage immunization in developing countries. At least one-fifth of congenital cataract is familial. Understanding the genetics of familial cataract will lead to better treatment of congenital as well as age-related cataract.