virus can be detected by dogs as effectively as a PCR test, study claims

published on Thursday, June 02, 2022 at 9:37 p.m.

“The overall sensitivity of canine detection was 97% and even reached 100% in asymptomatic people compared to RT-PCR”, according to a study by AP-HP (Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux Paris) and the National Veterinary School of Alfort.

A method as reliable and much more pleasant than a swab in the nostril. A study by researchers from the AP-HP (Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux Paris) and the National Veterinary School of Alfort, published on Wednesday in the American scientific journal PLOS-ONE (Public Library of Science) and spotted by BFM TV,“scientifically confirms the ability of dogs to detect an olfactory signature of Covid-19″, details the APHP.

This study was conducted from March 16, 2021 to April 9, 2021 in Paris, on participants aged 6 to 76.

“335 people were tested, 143 were symptomatic and 192 asymptomatic. 109 tested positive by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR, 78 in symptomatic participants and 31 in asymptomatic participants,” it is reported. “The overall sensitivity of canine detection was 97% and even reached 100% in asymptomatic people compared to RT-PCR”, rejoice the researchers. Of course, these dogs have been trained to detect Covid-19.

Some constraints

Then to specify how this test was carried out: “Axillary sweat samples were collected via compresses posed two minutes under the armpits of study participants. They were then locked up in jars and then were sniffed by at least two different dogs. The latter were not in contact with the volunteers.” If at least two dogs sat in front of a jar, the sample was considered positive. If “a dog showed great interest in the sample” but did not s sat “not immediately”, the sample was also considered positive.

This method of detection, if it were to be used, would nevertheless pose certain constraints. Indeed, few dogs are currently trained to detect Covid-19. In addition, faced with too many people, these animals could get scared. Finally, they also take the risk of being contaminated by the virus themselves.

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