Canines can be trained to sniff out COVID-19, successfully trialed

Florida International University researchers have successfully trained canines to detect COVID-19 cases at airports and festivals.

Published Fri, Feb 11 2022 5:02 AM CST   |   Updated Wed, Mar 9 2022 6:31 AM CST

The study uncovering canine's ability to detect COVID-19 was published in the journal Forensic Science International: Synergy.

Canines can be trained to sniff out COVID-19, successfully trialed 01 |

Dogs have up to 300 million scent receptors in their noses, compared to only a measly 6 million scent receptors in humans. Forty percent more brain space in dogs is devoted to analyzing odors than humans, allowing them to detect compounds with even greater sensitivity than some analytical instruments. They detect smells from volatile organic compounds associated with a given source.

Certain volatile organic compounds, known as biomarkers, are created and exhaled by human patients afflicted with diseases like cancer or diabetes and can be detected by trained dogs. Researchers from the Florida International University confirmed that dogs could be trained to detect COVID-19.

During training, four dogs of various breeds were able to correctly identify masks previously worn by individuals testing positive for COVID-19, with accuracies of 96.2%, 99.4%, 98.1%, and 96.3%. Since the study, two of the dogs were used at the annual Food and Wine Festival in Miami in May 2021 and at Miami International Airport to screen individuals for COVID-19 for separate pilot studies.

You can read more from the study here.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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