Olfactory and taste disorders in COVID-19 patients: an update

Mohd Abu Bashar, Nazia Begam


Since December 2019, a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally. A spectrum of disease severity has been reported for the infection, with main symptoms of fever, fatigue, dry cough, myalgia, and dyspnoea.


COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Olfactory

Full Text:



World Health Organisation (WHO) Coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) outbreak. Available at: Accessed on 25 April, 2020.

Cucinotta D, Vanelli M. WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic. Acta Biomed. 2020;91:157-60.

Dubé M, Le Coupanec A, Wong AHM, Rini JM, Desforges M, Talbot PJ. Axonal transport enables neuron-to-neuron propagation of human coronavirus OC43. J Virol. 2018;92(17):e00404-18.

Sungnak W, Huang N, Bécavin C, Berg M, Network HLB. SARS-CoV-2 entry genes are most highly expressed in nasal goblet and ciliated cells within human airways. ArXiv200306122 Q-Bio, 2020.

Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, Ren L, Zhao J, Hu Y, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 2020;395:497-506.

Desforges M, Le Coupanec A, Brison E, Meessen-Pinard M, Talbot PJ. Neuroinvasive and neurotropic human respiratory coronaviruses: potential neurovirulent agents in humans. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;807:75-96.

Li Y, Bai W, Hashikawa T. The neuroinvasive potential of SARS-CoV2 may play a role in the respiratory failure of COVID-19 patients. J Med Virol. 2020.

Suzuki M, Saito K, Min WP, Vladau C, Toida K, Itoh H, et al. Identification of viruses in patients with postviral olfactory dysfunction. Laryngoscope. 2007;117:272-7.

Mao L, Wang M, Chen S, He Q, Chang J, Hong C, et al. Neurological manifestations of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective case series study. SSRN 2020.

Hummel T, Landis BN, Hüttenbrink KB. Smell and taste disorders. GMS Curr Top Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011;10:04.

van Riel D, Verdijk R, Kuiken T. The olfactory nerve: a shortcut for influenza and other viral diseases into the central nervous system. J Pathol 2015;235:277-87.

Netland J, Meyerholz DK, Moore S, Cassell M, Perlman S. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection causes neuronal death in the absence of encephalitis in mice transgenic for human ACE2. J Virol. 2008;82:7264-75.

Xu H, Zhong L, Deng J, Peng J, Dan H, Zeng X, et al. High expression of ACE2 receptor of 2019-nCoV on the epithelial cells of oral mucosa. Int J Oral Sci. 2020;12:8.

Giacomelli A, Pezzati L, Conti F. Self-reported olfactory and taste disorders in SARS-CoV-2 patients: a cross-sectional study. Clin Infect Dis. 2020.

Spinato G, Fabbris C, Polesel J, Cazzador D, Borsetto D, Hopkins C, et al. Alterations in Smell or Taste in Mildly Symptomatic Outpatients With SARS-CoV-2 Infection. JAMA. 2020;323(20):2089-90.

Xydacis MS, Dehgani-Mobaraki P, Holbrook HE, Geisthof UW, Bauer C, et al. Smell and taste dysfunction in patients with COVID-19. The Lancet Infectious Dis. 2020.