Impaired taste & smell after a Covid-19 infection linked to higher levels of antibodies
In a new study published in the journal PLOS One, a group of researchers based in the United States found that the odds of developing greater amounts of antibodies to the coronavirus could be two times higher among those who experienced altered smell and taste post infection.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, loss of smell and taste were identified as one of the key symptoms of a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
It has been reported that loss of smell is experienced by at least 43% up to 62% of people who had Covid-19 and tends to occur in the early stages after catching the virus.
To gain a better understanding of how people with altered smell and taste might have developed antibodies after a Covid-19 infection, the researchers enrolled 309 patients who are a part of the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center convalescent plasma trials.
All of them had been diagnosed with Covid-19 recently when the trial had begun in 2020. More than 60% of them were white women.
Around 64% of them reported loss of smell and/or loss of taste.
“Results from our study suggest that loss of smell and taste during COVID-19 infection are strong predictive factors for a robust immunologic response.” the researchers concluded.
However, a major limitation of the study is that the participants had themselves reported whether or not they experienced a loss of smell and taste during and after a Covid-19 infection.
That means several participants might have faced difficulties in recalling whether their sense of smell or taste was altered or not.
A 2022 study revealed that at least 90% of people who lost their sense of smell or taste gradually get it back within a span of two years.
The good news is, only 5% of people who reported losing their sense of smell or taste said it lasted for six months, although, women seem to be more prone to suffer from this symptom than men.
While there are several theories as to why a Covid-19 infection might alter an individual’s sense of smell and taste, a lot of uncertainties still persist.