The role of the oral cavity in SARS-CoV-2 detection, dissemination and disease

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Abstract

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, anecdotal reports of the loss of smell (anosmia) and taste (ageusia) were reported as potential symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The diagnostic significance of these characteristics resulted in the publication of revised guidance in May 2020. Subsequent studies have suggested 65% of all infections may generate a disturbance to one or both of these sensory processes, but clear links between these symptoms and how they vary according to age, sex and ethnicity or impact clinical outcome have yet to be established. However, what these sensory disturbances did highlight was the significance of the nose and mouth in the infection and proliferation of SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • saliva
  • taste and olfactory signalling

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