Background: Despite alterations in the sense of smell and taste have dominated the symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the prevalence and the severity of self-reporting COVID-19 associated olfactory and gustatory dysfunction has dropped significantly with the advent of the Omicron BA.1 subvariant. However, data on the evolution of Omicron-related chemosensory impairment are still lacking.Objective: The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence and the recovery rate of self-reported chemosensory dysfunction 6-month after SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired during the predominance of the Omi-cron BA.1 subvariant in Italy.Methods: Prospective observational study based on the sino-nasal outcome tool 22 (SNOT-22), item "sense of smell or taste" and additional outcomes conducted in University hospitals and tertiary referral centers in Italy.Results: Of 338 patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 completing the baseline survey, 294 (87.0 %) responded to the 6-month follow-up interview. Among them, 101 (34.4 %) and 4 (1.4 %) reported an altered sense of smell or taste at baseline and at 6 months, respectively. Among the 101 patients with COVID-19-associated smell or taste dysfunction during the acute phase of the disease, 97 (96.0 %) reported complete resolution at 6 months. The duration of smell or taste impairment was significantly shorter in vaccinated patients (p = 0.007).Conclusions: Compared with that observed in subjects infected during the first wave of the pandemic, the re-covery rate from chemosensory dysfunctions reported in the present series of patients infected during the pre-dominance of the Omicron BA.1 subvariant was more favorable with a shorter duration being positively influenced by vaccination.
Recovery from olfactory and gustatory dysfunction following COVID-19 acquired during Omicron BA.1 wave in Italy / Boscolo-Rizzo, Paolo; Tirelli, Giancarlo; Meloni, Pierluigi; Hopkins, Claire; Lechien, Jerome R; Madeddu, Giordano; Bonini, Pierluigi; Gardenal, Nicoletta; Cancellieri, Emilia; Lazzarin, Chiara; Borsetto, Daniele; De Vito, Andrea; De Riu, Giacomo; Vaira, Luigi Angelo. - In: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY. - ISSN 0196-0709. - 44:5(2023), p. 103944. [10.1016/j.amjoto.2023.103944]