Saturday, February 17, 2024

Genetic Risk Factor Found for COVID-19 Smell and Taste Loss


According to NBC News, the journal Natural Genetics published a study identifying a genetic risk factor associated with the loss of smell after being infected with COVID-19. Scientists believe that sensory loss comes from damaged infected cells in the olfactory epithelium. The Verywell Health, explains that olfactory epithelium is a thin-cellular tissue that runs along the roof of the nasal cavity and is involved in smell. According to the study, a genetic locus near two olfactory genes is associated with the loss of smell and taste that was caused by COVID-19. Researchers conducted a study where a group of individuals who self-reported receiving a positive Covid test, reported if they experienced loss of smell or taste as a symptom. Researchers compared genetic differences between the individuals who lost their sense of smell and those who didn't. They found a region of the genome associated with this split that's situated near two genes, UGT2A1 and UGT2A2. These genes are expressed within the tissue that is found in the nose which are involved in smell. However, it is still unclear how these genes are involved in the process. "To use these findings, scientists need to learn more about how these genes are expressed and what their functions are in olfactory signaling, Turner said"(Sloat 1). 

I found this article interesting as this study explains how two genes may be associated with the loss of smell. This study can be further interpreted to find the answer as to how these genes are involved in the process and it eventually could find future treatments. Last year I was infected with COVID-19 and I experienced a loss of smell after being infected. Although I can now smell, I always wondered why me? I will keep track of this study and can't wait to see any new findings. 


Genetic risk factor found for Covid-19 smell and taste loss, researchers say (


1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting because I thought it would just be a symptom like how you would normally describe symptoms from other diseases. I wonder if it also mentions those that lost their sense of smell and never regained it even after being negative for COVID.