Study: Sniffing dogs can detect COVID-19 in human sweat within seconds

MANILA, Philippines –
With nearly 95 percent accuracy, trained sniffer dogs were found to detect COVID-19 infection in human sweat within seconds, according to a study conducted by researchers from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

Sniffing dogs can detect COVID-19 in human sweat

Professor Kaywalee Chatdarong, head of the pilot project that involved six Labrador Retrievers, believes the sniffer dogs could be used to detect the asymptomatic coronavirus infections at busy transportation centers such as airports and seaports in the future. Currently, thermal scanners or imaging systems found at public venues or ports of entry can only sense higher body temperatures and deemed not effective in detecting asymptomatic cases.

According to Dr. Chatdarong, the research team selected Labrador Retrievers since they are known to have a good sense of smell and are friendly.

In an interview with Reuters, veterinary faculty Dr. Chatdarong said: “The dogs take only one to two seconds to detect the virus… within a minute, they will manage to go through 60 samples.”

In the six-month study, the dogs were subjected to COVID-19 sufferers’ sweat samples on a spinning wheel of six canned vessels. Even without the symptoms of the disease that has taken 2,664,386 lives globally as of writing, the dogs can determine a volatile organic compound found in the sweat of COVID-19 patients.

“When a dog sits down, it means the person is asymptomatic,” Dr. Chatdarong explained.

Furthermore, the research team clarified that the testing process is safe for the dogs as well as the officials involved.

Dr. Chatdarong added: “The next step is we will put them out in the field. In the future, when we send them to airports or ports, where there is an influx of commuters, they will be much faster and more precise in detecting the virus than temperature checks.”

Aside from Thailand, Australia, Germany, Finland and France have utilized sniffer dogs to identify COVID-19 patients.

— Mini, The Summit Express

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