Bio-detection dogs can identify the distinct smell of COVID-19 with an accuracy rate of up to 94%, new research shows.
The project, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in collaboration with Durham University and the Medical Detection Dogs charity, used 3,500 odor samples donated by members of the public and NHS staff.
There was a sensitivity rate of 94.3% – a low risk of false negatives – and up to 92% specificity – a low risk of false positives.
Six dogs reached the double-blind trial phase of the research, where the dogs and researchers were unsure whether the samples were positive or negative, eliminating the risk of bias.
These dogs were able to detect the scent of asymptomatic people, with accuracy maintained for high and low viral loads.
Modeling of these results showed that these dogs could be used in airports and ports, two dogs being able to screen 300 people in 30 minutes.
Dr Claire Guest, Scientific Director of Medical Detection Dogs, told Sky News: “We were able to get very good quality samples in front of the dogs so that they could learn this scent very reliably and they were even able to do this with asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic individuals. “
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She added: “It turns out to be a disease with a distinctive scent that dogs can find, and the fact that they can find it on a 50p sock that was worn some time ago when it was worn. presented to the dog gives us tremendous optimism that dogs will be able to do this even better when they sense an individual passing by. “
Project leader Professor James Logan said: “We think dogs could be an additional tool that could be used as part of a kit for …
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This notice was published: 2021-05-23 22:22:00