Dogs can smell COVID-19 with 92% accuracy. [BADANIA] – Medical Pulse

Studies by the University of Helsinki and the University of Helsinki Hospital have confirmed that odor-detecting dogs can be trained to recognize people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with 92% accuracy from skin tampon samples.

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The susceptibility of dogs to coronavirus was 92%, and the specificity was 91%. – research results.

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BMJ Global Health reports that dogs can reliably detect COVID-19 infection from skin smears.

SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus: PCR Test for Dog Nose

Prompt and accurate identification and isolation of patients with COVID-19 infection is of great importance. Currently, the diagnosis of coronavirus infection is based on an accurate and sensitive PCR test. However, PCR tests, among other reasons, are not suitable for examination of large masses due to their long delivery time and high cost.

A recent study by the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital (DOI 10.1136 / bmjgh-2021-008024) confirmed that odor-detecting dogs can be trained to recognize people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with 92% accuracy. leather sticks ..

Researchers from the Department of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital have developed a triple-blind, randomized, controlled study to test the accuracy of dogs trained to detect the characteristic odor of infection.

How do dogs use their sense of smell to identify people infected with the coronavirus?

Neither the dog handler nor the researcher knew which of the smelly skin sticks was positive or negative. The study also looked at factors that could potentially interfere with a dog’s ability to recognize a positive pattern.

In the first phase of the study, dogs were trained to distinguish skin rods from voluntary samples from coronavirus patients who tested negative. After several weeks of training, the dogs moved from the training center to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, where the next experiments were conducted.

In the second phase of the study, four trained dogs underwent a validation test to prove their ability to differentiate between samples. During the experiment, each dog was presented with a series of 420 samples over seven days. As several parallel samples were collected from each donor, each dog sniffed the same 114 sets of samples from coronavirus patients and 306 controls. The presence or absence of coronavirus in all donor samples was confirmed by PCR.

Sensitivity to coronavirus detection was 92% and specificity was 91%. Only small differences in accuracy were observed between the four dogs.

Coronavirus variants have greatly contributed to the misidentification of samples by dogs.

The study confirms previous reports that dogs can use their sense of smell to identify people infected with the coronavirus.

The tests were conducted in real conditions

The third phase of the study included a real-time inspection of passengers and staff at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Dogs correctly identified 98.7 percent. negative examples. In fact, the small number of coronavirus-infected specimens in the experiments made it impossible to accurately assess the results in dogs with positive specimens. However, in this part of the study, the results of correctly identified positive samples based on the positive “work motivation patterns” given to dogs on a regular basis were also estimated at 98.7%. Motivation samples were originally collected from PCR-positive patients but had not previously been sniffed by dogs. In situations and environments where the percentage of positive samples is very low, they are given to dogs on a regular basis to maintain interest in the target odor.

– The configuration of our research was at a high scientific level. The sample sizes were large enough that all dogs sniffed the same set of samples, allowing them to compare results. Dogs also had to successfully select sample sets that contained only negative samples – important for screening. Another important advantage was the collection of samples from outpatients rather than inpatients. In addition, the research was conducted in real conditions, not in a laboratory, says Anna Hielm-Björkman, head of the DogRisk research group at the University of Helsinki.

– I was especially impressed by the fact that dogs performed less well with samples taken from patients suffering from the disease caused by the coronavirus variant. According to Anu Kantele, a professor of infectious diseases and chief physician, the explanation is simple: dogs were initially trained with a wild-type virus and therefore did not always report positive variants, which shows their incredible discriminating ability. University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital.

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