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

Valentina Parma 1 Kathrin Ohla 2 Maria Veldhuizen 3 Masha Niv 4 Christine E. Kelly 5 Alyssa Bakke 6 Keiland Cooper 7 Cédric Bouysset 8 Nicola Pirastu 9 Michele Dibattista 10 Rishemjit Kaur 11 Marco Liuzza 12 Marta Pepino 13 Veronika Schöpf 14 Veronica Pereda-Loth 15 Shannon Olsson 16 Richard Gerkin 17 Paloma Rohlfs Domínguez 18 Javier Albayay 19 Michael Farruggia 20 Surabhi Bhutani 21 Alexander Fjaeldstad 22 Ritesh Kumar 23 Anna Menini 24 Moustafa Bensafi 25 Mari Sandell 26, 27 Iordanis Konstantinidis 28 Antonella Pizio 29 Federica Genovese 30 Lina Öztürk 3 Thierry Thomas-Danguin 31, 32 Johannes Frasnelli 33 Sanne Boesveldt 34 Özlem Saatci 35 Luis Saraiva 36 Cailu Lin 30 Sébastien Fiorucci 37 Jérôme Golebiowski 37 Liang-Dar Hwang 38 Hakan Ozdener 30 Maria Dolors Guardia 39 Christophe Laudamiel 40 Marina Ritchie 7 Jan Havlícek 41 Denis Pierron 42 Eugeni Roura 38 Marta Navarro 38 Alissa Nolden 43 Juyun Lim 44 K Whitcroft 45 Lauren Colquitt 30 Camille Ferdenzi 46 Evelyn Brindha 47 Aytug Altundag 48 Alberto Macchi 49 Alexia Nunez-Parra Zara Patel 50 Carl Philpott 51 Barry Smith 52 Johan Lundström 30 Carla Mucignat 53 Jane Parker 54 Mirjam van den Brink 55 Michael Schmuker 56 Florian Fischmeister 57 Thomas Heinbockel 58 Vonnie Shields 59 Farhoud Faraji 60 Enrique Santamaria 61 William Fredborg 62 Gabriella Morini 63 Jonas Olofsson 62 Maryam Jalessi 64 Noam Karni Anna D'errico 65 Rafieh Alizadeh 64 Robert Pellegrino 66 Pablo Meyer 67 Caroline Huart 68 Ben Chen 69 Graciela Soler 70 Mohammed Alwashahi 71 Forschungszentrum Jülich Gccr Group 72, 73, 60, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 3, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94 Danielle Reed 30 Thomas Hummel 88 Steven D. Munger 95 John Hayes 96
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, and generally lacked quantitative measurements. 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.
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Valentina Parma, Kathrin Ohla, Maria Veldhuizen, Masha Niv, Christine E. Kelly, et al.. More than smell. COVID-19 is associated with severe impairment of smell, taste, and chemesthesis. Chemical Senses, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020, 45 (7), pp.609-622. ⟨10.1093/chemse/bjaa041⟩. ⟨hal-02911030⟩

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