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Dogs Found Very Capable at Detecting COVID-19

June 3, 2022 • 1:15 pm CDT
by David Mark
(Coronavirus Today)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, testing individuals for a SARS-CoV-2 virus infection remains a crucial action. An innovative approach to rapid testing is to consider the olfactory capacities of trained detection dogs.

According to a peer-reviewed study in PLOS One on June 1, 2022, compared with reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, dogs can detect coronavirus infections via scent with high sensitivity (97%).

The study authors concluded, "Our results show the excellent sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 detection by dogs using nasopharyngeal RT-PCR as the reference for comparison."

"These results are consistent with previous results in proof of concepts studies using sweat in hospitalized patients."

"Non-invasive detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection by canine olfaction could be an alternative to NPS RT-PCR when it is necessary to obtain a result quickly."

The trial was supported by a grant from the French Ministry of Health, Region Ile de France, and Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris Foundation. 

A similar study published in May 2022 by BMJ Global Health demonstrated how trained dogs could detect coronaviruses in airline travelers.

Note: This study's results were manually curated for mobile readers.