In this new study, researchers based in France and Lebanon took sweat samples from the underarms of a total of 177 patients from four hospitals in Paris and one in Beirut — 95 had tested positive for Covid-19, while 82 had tested negative. It was important that both the negative and positive samples came from the same hospitals so the dogs wouldn’t be picking up on a particular “hospital odour,” the researchers said.
Using some of the sweat samples, they trained 14 dogs that had been working as explosive detection dogs, search and rescue dogs or colon cancer detection dogs to take part in the study. The scientists did not use dogs trained to detect illicit drugs because they could not rule out whether study patients who had provided sweat samples had used prohibited substances.
Six dogs — Guess, Maika, Gun, Oslo, Bella and Jacky — had their sniffing abilities formally tested in the study. Five of them were Belgian Malinois, a common breed for French working dogs, and Jacky was a Jack Russell terrier.
The researchers asked the animals to detect a positive Covid-19 sweat sample in one olfactory cone from a lineup of three to four cones that contained negative, or mock, samples. The scientists believe the dogs pick up on a specific scent produced by volatile organic compounds that are generated by catabolites, substances produced by the replication of the virus that escape the body through sweat.
During the testing period, the dogs did dozens of trials, with a success rate of between 76% to 100%. Jacky and Bella, the two dogs that specialized in detecting colon cancer, had a 100% success rate in the 68 tests they completed.
It’s still a study, but…but…but…people do sweat Coronavirus!
My dreams need to stop coming true immediately, especially since I keep having bad ones lately.