Know more

About cookies

What is a "cookie"?

A "cookie" is a piece of information, usually small and identified by a name, which may be sent to your browser by a website you are visiting. Your web browser will store it for a period of time, and send it back to the web server each time you log on again.

Different types of cookies are placed on the sites:

  • Cookies strictly necessary for the proper functioning of the site
  • Cookies deposited by third party sites to improve the interactivity of the site, to collect statistics

Learn more about cookies and how they work

The different types of cookies used on this site

Cookies strictly necessary for the site to function

These cookies allow the main services of the site to function optimally. You can technically block them using your browser settings but your experience on the site may be degraded.

Furthermore, you have the possibility of opposing the use of audience measurement tracers strictly necessary for the functioning and current administration of the website in the cookie management window accessible via the link located in the footer of the site.

Technical cookies

Name of the cookie


Shelf life

CAS and PHP session cookies

Login credentials, session security



Saving your cookie consent choices

12 months

Audience measurement cookies (AT Internet)

Name of the cookie


Shelf life


Trace the visitor's route in order to establish visit statistics.

13 months


Store the anonymous ID of the visitor who starts the first time he visits the site

13 months


Identify the numbers (unique identifiers of a site) seen by the visitor and store the visitor's identifiers.

13 months

About the AT Internet audience measurement tool :

AT Internet's audience measurement tool Analytics is deployed on this site in order to obtain information on visitors' navigation and to improve its use.

The French data protection authority (CNIL) has granted an exemption to AT Internet's Web Analytics cookie. This tool is thus exempt from the collection of the Internet user's consent with regard to the deposit of analytics cookies. However, you can refuse the deposit of these cookies via the cookie management panel.

Good to know:

  • The data collected are not cross-checked with other processing operations
  • The deposited cookie is only used to produce anonymous statistics
  • The cookie does not allow the user's navigation on other sites to be tracked.

Third party cookies to improve the interactivity of the site

This site relies on certain services provided by third parties which allow :

  • to offer interactive content;
  • improve usability and facilitate the sharing of content on social networks;
  • view videos and animated presentations directly on our website;
  • protect form entries from robots;
  • monitor the performance of the site.

These third parties will collect and use your browsing data for their own purposes.

How to accept or reject cookies

When you start browsing an eZpublish site, the appearance of the "cookies" banner allows you to accept or refuse all the cookies we use. This banner will be displayed as long as you have not made a choice, even if you are browsing on another page of the site.

You can change your choices at any time by clicking on the "Cookie Management" link.

You can manage these cookies in your browser. Here are the procedures to follow: Firefox; Chrome; Explorer; Safari; Opera

For more information about the cookies we use, you can contact INRAE's Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at :


24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Université Paris-Saclay AgroParisTech ANSES ENVA CNRS INSERM UPEC FNCH

Home page

Loss of smell: SARS-CoV-2 does not infect the olfactory nerves

08 July 2020

Anosmia, or the loss of smell, is one of the frequent symptoms of patients infected by Covid-19 and health personnel include this parameter when diagnosing patients infected by SARS-CoV-2. Recent studies (1) have hypothesized that the virus infects olfactory nerves in the nose. But scientists from INRAE, in partnership with Anses, have shown that in an experimental model in the hamster, the virus infects other cells of the nasal mucosa but not olfactory nerves. Their studies were published on July 3rd in the journal Brain Behaviour and Immunity.

The loss of smell is one of the most frequent symptoms during a SARS-CoV-2 infection. This type of symptom, even though it is more rare for respiratory viruses like the flu, is however, well known and associated with the virus' ability to infect olfactory nerves. However, these neurves are exposed to the environment and are directly connected to the central nervous system (CNS). A virus capable of infecting could also access the CNS through the olfactory nerves. A high number of patients have had neurological manifestations, notably for the more severe cases of Covid-19, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 could invade the SNC. Within this context, it is important to understand the interactions between the olfactory neurons and this virus.

SARS CoV-2 enters cells using a specific receptor called ACE2. The olfactory neurons present in the nose are surrounded by support cells called sustentacular cells that have this ACE2 specific receptor, whereas neurons do not express it. Their studies showed that in the hamster, SARS-CoV-2 massively infests sustentacular cells but not olfactory nerves. They observed that in addition to infection of support cells, there is also a desquamation of the nasal mucosa, which could explain the loss of smell. Indeed, desquamation of the nasal musoca leads to a loss of olfactory nerves responsible for odor detection. Even if the mechanism in man is the same as that observed in infected hamsters, it could be responsible for the origin of the anosmia observed and would prevent the virus from penetrating into the SNC via the olfactory system as has recently been suggested.2

Luckily, the nasal mucosa is capable of regenerating itself throughout life due to pluripotent cells3. In their experiments, researchers observed a 50% recuperation of the initial nasal mucosa at 14 days after the start of the infection.