Dogs Sniff Out Coronavirus With High Accuracy

By Reuters Staff

March 10, 2022

(Reuters) - New research adds to evidence that trained dogs could help screen crowds to identify people infected with the coronavirus.

At two community screening centers in Paris, 335 volunteers getting traditional PCR tests also provided sweat samples. Overall, 78 people with symptoms and 31 people without symptoms tested positive by PCR.

Given the sweat samples to smell, the dogs were 97% accurate at detecting the infected patients, and 100% accurate at detecting infection in the asymptomatic patients, according to a report posted on medRxiv ahead of peer review. They also were 91% accurate at identifying volunteers who were not infected, and 94% accurate at ruling out the infection in people without symptoms.

"Canine testing is non-invasive and provides immediate and reliable results," the authors said. "Further studies will be focused on direct sniffing by dogs to evaluate sniffer dogs for mass pre-test in airports, harbors, railways stations, cultural activities or sporting events."

SOURCE: medRxiv, online March 8, 2022.