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Dogs can accurately identify samples from Covid-19 patients

P Jendrny, C Schulz, F Twele and others

BMC Infectious Diseases (2020) 20

doi: 10.1186/s12879-020-05281-3

• What did the research find?

Overall, the dogs discriminated between samples from Covid-19-infected and uninfected individuals with a diagnostic sensitivity of 82.6 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval [CI]=82.0–83.2 per cent) and a specificity of 96.4 per cent (95 per cent CI=96.3–96.4 per cent). The dogs’ detection abilities were the same regardless of whether they were presented with saliva samples or tracheal secretion samples.

• How was it conducted?

Saliva samples and tracheobronchial secretion samples were collected from hospitalised Covid-19 patients and from healthy people that were PCR-negative for the disease and had not recently had a cold. Eight detection dogs were then trained for seven days to discriminate the Covid-19-positive samples from the negative samples. After completion of the training process, the detection accuracy of the dogs was evaluated, and their sensitivity and specificity in identifying …

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