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Olfactory outcomes in Zika virus-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome

Abstract : Background: Zika Virus (ZIKV) infection has been associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Yet, little is known about the consequence of ZIKV infection on olfaction in humans. Methods: Just right before the COVID-19 outbreak, we prospectively investigated the olfacto-ry capacities of 19 patients with ZIKV-associated GBS from the French West Indies and com-pared them to 9 controls from the same population, with a GBS of similar severity but inde-pendent of Zika infection. To provide further evidence that ZIKV infection induces smell altera-tion, we investigated the consequences of ZIKV infection on olfactory abilities using a mouse model. Results: Patients with GBS-Zika+ had a poorer olfactory function than GBS-non-Zika, even one to two years after the acute phase. The proportion of patients with hyposmia was signifi-cantly higher in GBS-Zika+ than in GBS-non-Zika group (68.4% versus 22.2%, P=0.042). These deficits were characterized by lower threshold and identification scores and were inde-pendent from GBS severity. Additionally, ZIKV infection was found to impair olfaction in immu-nodeficient mice infected with ZIKV. High viral load was observed in their olfactory system and downstream brain structures. ZIKV promoted both cellular damages in the olfactory neuroepi-thelium and protracted inflammation of the olfactory bulb, likely accounting for smell alteration. Conclusions: Patients with ZIKV-related GBS had a poorer long-term olfactory function than patients with GBS-non-Zika and ZIKV-infected mice are hyposmic. These observations sug-gest that ZIKV belongs to the list of viruses affecting the olfactory system. Clinical evaluation of the olfactory system should be considered for ZIKV-infected patients.
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Contributor : Françoise Lazarini Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 10:38:18 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 5:05:55 AM


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Françoise Lazarini, Annie Lannuzel, André Cabié, Vincent Michel, Yoann Madec, et al.. Olfactory outcomes in Zika virus-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome. European Journal of Neurology, 2022, 29 (9), pp.2823-2831. ⟨10.1111/ene.15444⟩. ⟨pasteur-03695748⟩



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