Article

More than smell - COVID-19 is associated with severe impairment of smell, taste, and chemesthesis

Citation

Parma V, Ohla K, Veldhuizen MG, Niv MY, Kelly CE, Bakke AJ, Cooper KW, Bouysset C, Pirastu N, Dibattista M, Kaur R, Liuzza MT, Pepino MY, Schöpf V & Roberts SC (2020) More than smell - COVID-19 is associated with severe impairment of smell, taste, and chemesthesis. Chemical Senses, 45 (7), pp. 609-622. https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjaa041

Abstract
Recent anecdotal and scientific reports have provided evidence of a link between COVID-19 and chemosensory impairments such as anosmia. However, these reports have downplayed or failed to distinguish potential effects on taste, ignored chemesthesis, generally lacked quantitative measurements, were mostly restricted to data from single countries. Here, we report the development, implementation and initial results of a multi-lingual, international questionnaire to assess self-reported quantity and quality of perception in three distinct chemosensory modalities (smell, taste, and chemesthesis) before and during COVID-19. In the first 11 days after questionnaire launch, 4039 participants (2913 women, 1118 men, 8 other, ages 19-79) reported a COVID-19 diagnosis either via laboratory tests or clinical assessment. Importantly, smell, taste and chemesthetic function were each significantly reduced compared to their status before the disease. Difference scores (maximum possible change+/-100) revealed a mean reduction of smell (-79.7+/- 28.7, mean+/- SD), taste (-69.0+/- 32.6), and chemesthetic (-37.3+/- 36.2) function during COVID-19. Qualitative changes in olfactory ability (parosmia and phantosmia) were relatively rare and correlated with smell loss. Importantly, perceived nasal obstruction did not account for smell loss. Furthermore, chemosensory impairments were similar between participants in the laboratory test and clinical assessment groups. These results show that COVID-19-associated chemosensory impairment is not limited to smell, but also affects taste and chemesthesis. The multimodal impact of COVID-19 and lack of perceived nasal obstruction suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection may disrupt sensory-neural mechanisms.

Notes
Additional co-authors: Veronica Pereda-Loth, Shannon B Olsson, Richard C Gerkin, Paloma Rohlfs Domínguez, Javier Albayay, Michael C. Farruggia, Surabhi Bhutani, Alexander W Fjaeldstad, Ritesh Kumar, Anna Menini, Moustafa Bensafi, Mari Sandell, Iordanis Konstantinidis, Antonella Di Pizio, Federica Genovese, Lina Öztürk, Thierry Thomas-Danguin, Johannes Frasnelli, Sanne Boesveldt, Özlem Saatci, Luis R. Saraiva, Cailu Lin, Jérôme Golebiowski, Liang-Dar Hwang, Mehmet Hakan Ozdener, Maria Dolors Guàrdia, Christophe Laudamiel, Marina Ritchie, Jan Havlícek, Denis Pierron, Eugeni Roura, Marta Navarro, Alissa A. Nolden, Juyun Lim, KL Whitcroft, Lauren R. Colquitt, Camille Ferdenzi, Evelyn V. Brindha, Aytug Altundag, Alberto Macchi, Alexia Nunez-Parra, Zara M. Patel, Sébastien Fiorucci, Carl M. Philpott, Barry C. Smith, Johan N Lundström, Carla Mucignat, Jane K. Parker, Mirjam van den Brink, Michael Schmuker, Florian Ph.S Fischmeister, Thomas Heinbockel, Vonnie D.C. Shields, Farhoud Faraji, Enrique Enrique Santamaría, William E.A. Fredborg, Gabriella Morini, Jonas K. Olofsson, Maryam Jalessi, Noam Karni, Anna D'Errico, Rafieh Alizadeh, Robert Pellegrino, Pablo Meyer, Caroline Huart, Ben Chen, Graciela M. Soler, Mohammed K. Alwashahi, Olagunju Abdulrahman, Antje Welge-Lüssen, Pamela Dalton, Jessica Freiherr, Carol H. Yan, Jasper H. B. de Groot, Vera V. Voznessenskaya, Hadar Klein, Jingguo Chen, Masako Okamoto, Elizabeth A. Sell, Preet Bano Singh, Julie Walsh-Messinger, Nicholas S. Archer, Sachiko Koyama, Vincent Deary, Hüseyin Yanik, Samet Albayrak, Lenka Martinec Novákov, Ilja Croijmans, Patricia Portillo Mazal, Shima T. Moein, Eitan Margulis, Coralie Mignot, Sajidxa Mariño, Dejan Georgiev, Pavan K. Kaushik, Bettina Malnic, Hong Wang, Shima Seyed-Allaei, Nur Yoluk, Sara Razzaghi, Jeb M. Justice, Diego Restrepo, Julien W Hsieh, Danielle R. Reed, Thomas Hummel, Steven D Munger, John E Hayes

Journal
Chemical Senses: Volume 45, Issue 7

StatusPublished
Publication date30/09/2020
Publication date online30/06/2020
Date accepted by journal10/06/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31576
ISSN0379-864X
eISSN1464-3553

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