Dogs Detect Covid Better Than Lateral Flow Tests, Study Finds | Nature

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Dogs Detect Covid Better Than Lateral Flow Tests, Study Finds | Nature


The data has raised the question of whether dogs should be used more widely for mass virus tests, especially in places such as airports which will see increasing numbers of people due to the easing of lockdown restrictions. . The study found that dogs detected Covid better in humans than lateral flow tests (LFT), which typically give results around 30 minutes after a sample is taken.

Conducted in March and April by the French National Veterinary School and the Clinical Research Unit at Necker-Cochin Hospital in Paris, the research concluded that dogs can detect coronavirus in humans with an accuracy of 97% .
Speaking to Agence-France Presse, Professor Jean-Marc Tréluyer said: “These are excellent results, comparable to those of a PCR test.”

He added that despite this comparison, dogs would not replace polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

According to the study, dogs were also correct at identifying negative Covid samples 91% of the time.

These results suggest a strong ability to detect the virus compared to LFTs, as a recent Cochrane review found that these were able to detect on average 72% of people with Covid who show symptoms.
The same review also found that in people infected with COVID-19 but showing no symptoms, it detected only 58% of cases.

Professor Tréluyer added that the dogs “could help identify people who should have a full viral test and – because the dogs’ response is so rapid – facilitate mass testing” in places such as nightclubs and travel centers.

The data was collected from 335 people aged 6 to 76, who were in a testing center in Paris looking for a PCR test.

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This was only slightly lower for those with a negative result, as 91 percent of the samples were correctly identified by the mutts.

The Paris hospital board said: “These results are scientific confirmation of the ability of dogs to detect the olfactory signature of Covid-19. “

The study is to be published in a scientific journal and is hailed as the first of its kind.

Other researchers around the world have experimented with the use of dogs to detect Covid, these findings potentially providing reasons to reverse this situation as the world recovers from the pandemic.

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