Dogs Can Sniff Out COVID-19, New Study Findsadmin
Dogs have been known to be able to sniff out a number of diseases – from Parkinson’s disease to different forms of cancer. Now, according to new research led by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in Germany, eight sniffer dogs from the German military were trained “to identify scents associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, in samples of human saliva and phlegm,” IFLScience.com reports.
After a week of training, these dogs were able to differentiate between samples from infected patients and non-infected patients with 96% accuracy.
“These preliminary findings indicating that pre-trained scent detection dogs can discriminate reliably, accurately and rapidly between samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and negative controls is truly exciting,” Professor Holger A Volk, department chair of small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, said in a statement. “We have built a solid foundation for future studies to explore what the dogs do scent and if they can be used to discriminate also between different disease timepoints or clinical phenotypes.”
While this study is relatively small and it’s relatively unclear how these findings might be implemented in the real world, “but the researchers suggest it could be used in countries that struggle to get their hands on diagnostic tests.”
Read the full study in BMC Infectious Diseases.