Legionnaires’ Effect on Smell


The goal of this study is to determine whether survivors of Legionnaires' disease suffer smell loss. A quantitative olfactory test will be performed by the participants. Such testing will require approximately 20-30 minutes of the participant's time. The participants will take the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), a scratch-and-sniff test to assess their ability to identify odors in a forced- choice format. Volunteers will also complete a questionnaire asking personal history, demographic questions, and medical history.

Full Title of Study: “Legionella Pneumonia’s Effect on Olfactory Function”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Prospective
  • Study Primary Completion Date: May 2022


  • Other: The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT)
    • This standardized test, the most widely used olfactory test in the world, is derived from basic psychological test measurement theory and focuses on the comparative ability of subjects to identify odorants at the suprathreshold level. The UPSIT consists of four envelope-sized booklets, each containing ten “scratch and sniff” odorants embedded in 10- 50-┬Ám polymer microcapsules positioned on brown strips at the bottom of the pages of the booklets.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Legionnaires’ Disease Volunteers
    • Volunteers who have been diagnosed/survivors of Legionnaire’s Disease
  • Healthy Volunteers
    • Volunteers who are healthy.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Score on the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test
    • Time Frame: 20-30 Minutes
    • The number of correct odor identification responses out of 40 from the standardized University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. The total number of correct responses will then be compared to standard norms of correct responses based on demographic information such as age and sex. Comparing the scores to the standard norms collected will indicate whether a volunteer is normosmic, hyposmic, or anosmic.

Secondary Measures

  • Questionnaire Responses
    • Time Frame: 20-30 Minutes
    • These are various demographic and medical history questions regarding exposure to Legionella Pneumonia and current experiences post diagnosis and treatment.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Persons of generally good health, as obtained from a screening questionnaire who are 18 years of age and older – Both men and women of all ethnic backgrounds will be accepted. Exclusion Criteria:

  • Age less than 18 – Pregnant Women – Persons who mental competence is limited, such as those with dementia

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Pennsylvania
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Richard Doty, Director, Smell and Taste Center, Professor of Psychology in Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery – University of Pennsylvania
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Richard L Doty, PhD, Principal Investigator, University of Pennsylvania
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Richard L Doty, PhD, 215-662-6580, richard.doty@uphs.upenn.edu

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