Covid-19: proof of the effectiveness of dog detection

The ability of dogs to detect Covid-19 virus in human sweat shows results “very promising“, according to a French study whose conclusions were published on May 19, 2021.

Participation of 300 volunteers aged 6 to 76 years

The study, conducted March 16-April 9, compares two screening methods for Covid-19: a reference RT-PCR test on a nasopharyngeal swab and a canine olfactory test, its initiators in Statement. Just over 300 volunteers aged 6 to 76 took part, as well as nine trained dogs and French firefighters from the United Arab Emirates. Participants – people who came for testing at several Paris screening centers – put bandages on their armpits for two minutes. These wraps were then locked in jars and then sniffed by at least two different dogs, who were not in contact with the volunteers. A detection experiment was conducted “blindly“, dog handlers not knowing which compresses were positive. The study was initiated by the National Veterinary School Alfort (EnvA), as part of the” Nosaïs-Covid-19 “project carried out by Prof. Dominique Grandjean, and the Necker-Cochin Clinical Research Unit by Prof. Jean-Marc Tréluyer, in Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP).

Achieved excellent results

Of the 335 individuals tested, 109 were positive on the basic nasopharyngeal PCR test. “Sensitivity of canine olfactory test“, that is, the ability of a dog’s nose to discover true positive sides,”is 97%“and”specificity“, the proportion of true negatives discovered,”is 91%“, the study concludes.”These are excellent results, comparable to those obtained by the reference test“Pr Tréluyer told AFP.”But the dog test has not been replaced, it is aimed at people who should benefit from virological screening and facilitate mass screening due to the rapid response of dogs.“, he adds.”These results scientifically confirm the ability of dogs to detect the olfactory signature of Covid-19“, emphasizes AP-HP, specifying that this study, which has not yet been published in a medical journal,”the first of its kind performed internationally“.

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