Armpit-sniffing dogs trained to detect COVID-19 infection

  • Sooner or later, dogs may be used everywhere to help save lives by sniffing out the COVID-19 virus — in the armpits of people.
  • In a study by researchers from the National Veterinary School of Alfort, France, dogs successfully rooted out collected infected samples from a display of mock and negative samples.
  • Study leader Professor Dominique Grandjean hopes that their study results would eventually aid in saving lives and preventing the spread of the virus.

Dogs can now help stop the spread of COVID-19 by sniffing the armpits of infected people, according to a new French study.

For years, dogs have been used for many years to sniff out drugs, explosives, and even illnesses like cancer, thanks to their acute sense of smell.

Even though dogs are already being used in airports around the world, including the UEA, Lebanon, Finland, Australia, and elsewhere, scientists are still trying to prove beyond doubt that dogs can root out the scent before the method is adopted internationally.

The new study now shows how our furry friends can contribute to the pandemic by detecting virus clues 75 to 100 percent of the time through the sweat of humans.

A team of researchers from the National Veterinary School of Alfort, France, recruited six dogs previously trained in search-and-rescue missions and retrained them to detect COVID-19.

Sweat samples from 177 people (95 with COVID-19 and 82 without) were then collected and placed inside cones for the dogs to sniff. During trials, the dogs have successfully sniffed out the infected samples in a line-up of mock and negative samples.

“The results are good and I’m happy, really happy,” says Professor Dominique Grandjean in a statement, via SWNS. He also added that the dogs could check a large number of people in a short space of time.

The team hopes that their findings would help countries that lack the infrastructure for mass testing programs by having sweat samples eventually taking the place of invasive nasal swabs.

Although the PLOS ONE-published study cannot be considered as absolute proof, Prof. Grandjean said he and his team have conducted other studies to confirm their results and have more planned next year. They have also released “practical guidelines” to other academics to help others in their research and are also developing an “international set of training standards” for dogs.

“We have been working with lots of countries. I think we have 20 countries working for us. It’s amazing, really amazing,” Prof. Grandjean added.

 

Source: Study Finds

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