gms | German Medical Science

GMS Current Posters in Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (DGHNOKHC)

ISSN 1865-1038

Hyposmia after vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis – case story


  • Jan Vodicka - Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Pardubice, Czech Republic
  • Hana Jelínková - Regional Hospital Pardubice, Pardubice, Czech Republic
  • Emílie Svestková - Regional Hospital Pardubice, Pardubice, Czech Republic
  • Petra Nykodýmová - Regional Hospital Pardubice, Pardubice, Czech Republic

GMS Curr Posters Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2009;5:Doc09

doi: 10.3205/cpo000413, urn:nbn:de:0183-cpo0004134

Published: April 16, 2009

© 2009 Vodicka et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: During last several years the number of vaccination against infectious diseases increased. Therefore, it is expected to meet new adverse effects of this kind of prevention. In a case story we report a patient with hyposmia after receiving tick-borne encephalitis vaccine.

Methods: Woman, 59 years old, came to our department due to loss of smell after vaccination against tick-born encephalitis. The vaccine was applied two weeks ago. She reported olfactory decrease second day after the vaccination. Other side effect symptoms of the vaccination were present as well – headache and tiredness. Regular ENT examination was performed including rhinoendoscopy and smell testing (OMT and Sniffin’ Sticks Test). Patient underwent regular examination at neurology and infectology. X-ray of paranasal sinuses and MRI of head were performed. Smell testing was performed one month later.

Results: There was no pathology found at ENT and neurological examination. Smell testing proved hyposmia in both tests (OMT 8 points, Sniffin’ Sticks TDI 23.25 points). Serological analysis of antibody against tick-born encephalitis was negative and X-ray and MRI did not show any possible cause of smell loss. No systemic treatment was prescribed. One month later patient reported slight improvement of sense of smell. This was not proved by olfactometry (OMT 9 points, Sniffin’ Sticks TDI 24.25 points).

Conclusion: We present a patient with hyposmia after vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis. The question remains, whether this was caused by vaccine itself or this was coincidence of other etiology (postviral). Nevertheless, smell deterioration should be considered as a possible adverse effect of vaccination against tick-born encephalitis.

Supported by: Grant project of the Ministry of Heath of the Czech Rebulic (No.1A/8667-4)