Dogs to detect the coronavirus?

April 15, 2020

They charm us, fill our hearts with joy and sometimes even impress us. But we may now have an additional reason to admire dogs: sniffer dogs are being tested for their potential to detect the coronavirus in humans. According to health specialists all diseases have a unique odor. Based on this principle, the British organization Medical Detection Dogs (MDD) has trained dogs to identify those with diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s. MDD will be conducting tests, in collaboration with the University of Durham and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), to establish the ability of sniffer dogs to detect people carrying the COVID-19 virus—whether they have symptoms or not. It’s a promising study. Previous research conducted by James Logan at LSHTM “demonstrated that dogs can detect odors from humans with a malaria infection with extremely high accuracy—above the World Health Organization standards for a diagnostic.” We eagerly await the study results. They could provide us with rapid means to detect the coronavirus in people … and give us additional grounds to be amazed by our faithful Fidos! (Katrine Joncas)

For more information visit the LSHTM website.


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