The dog’s nose is incredible. From bombs and illicit substances to cancer and other deadly diseases, there is evidence that dogs can sniff out more than just treated under the table, and how they can used in sedation therapy can have a huge impact on health. Now, dogs can also help fight COVID-19 with their relentless efforts to be everyone’s best friend.
According to a new review paper, multiple studies have suggested that dogs may better test for the Cavid-19 than the current PCR test. Fragrance detection dogs can easily placed in a hospital for rapid testing with minimal effort, accelerating the global tracking rate of COVID-19 across ongoing epidemics. The review published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
“Dogs ‘show’ the world with their noses rather than their eyes. Dogs are able to perceive a wide range of particles of extremely small density – a fraction of a quadrillion for humans, partly because of the shape of the head (e.g., with the exception of a few breeds, dogs have more noses)), says author Professor Tommy Dickey.
The current diagnostic test involves aggressive nasal swabs – or in some countries even anal swabs – that will then sent for PCR testing. It takes established labs for testing and an efficient logistics system for processing many samples at once, so a more efficient system would welcomed by many.
Extensive in four peer-reviewed articles, the review summarizes all studies available for the legitimacy of sniffing dogs against COVID-19. Dogs have an incredibly strong sense of smell, so respectable that it can detect transient organic compounds (VOCs) in a fraction of the density of humans. Not knowing exactly how dogs smell, their noses are able to detect cancer and other diseases with high accuracy due to compounds secreted in bodily fluids or the blood of infected patients.
The first study, conducted by Grandjean et al, included eight trained sniffer dogs related to cancer and explosives 198 samples from the armpits of hospital patients used mixed with control samples. Interestingly, the success rate of the dogs was between 83-100%, and some even identified samples that the researchers considered negative but later hospitalized.
The rest of the studies varied in methods, but two of them provided 94% and> 95.5percentage sensitivity, and the latter is ongoing.
More detailed testing needed for sniffer dogs, the results vary among dogs, but COVID-19 provides a promising avenue for diagnostics. Studies have continued to analyze their effectiveness, and while large studies are ongoing, it may be that in the near future dogs in busy areas have deployed for large-scale testing.