THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Subjective chemosensory dysfunction is predictive of serologic response after COVID-19, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in PLOS ONE.
Jonathan B. Overdevest, M.D., from Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues examined whether chemosensory changes associated with COVID-19 predict serologic response in a sample of 306 adults with perceived COVID-19 illness from April to June 2020. At the time of serologic analysis, where chemosensory function was assessed using patient-perceived deficits, COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction status was documented, as were clinical symptoms at time of illness and treatment course.
The researchers found that 64.1 and 63.7 percent of the patients reported subjective olfactory and taste dysfunction, respectively, during the first two weeks of COVID-19 infection. The odds of developing suprathreshold immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibody titers were 1.98 and 2.02 times higher among those who reported altered smell and altered taste, respectively, compared with those with normal smell and taste, in unadjusted models. Altered smell and taste remained significant predictors of positive anti-spike IgG response in multivariable models adjusting for sex, age, race/ethnicity, symptom duration, smoking status, and the comorbidities index (odds ratios, 1.90 and 2.01, respectively).
"Results from our study suggest that loss of smell and taste during COVID-19 infection are strong predictive factors for a robust immunologic response based on IgG titers," the authors write. "Additional research is needed to address the durability of seropositivity among these individuals."