According to a pilot project being carried out in Thailand, Thai sniffer dogs trained to detect COVID-19 in human sweat proved nearly 95% accurate during training.
With the marvelous results, the head of the pilot project said that this could be used to identify coronavirus infections at busy transport hubs within seconds.
In the six-month project, six Labrador Retrievers participated that included unleashing them to test an infected patient’s sweat on a spinning wheel of six canned vessels.
“The dogs take only one to two seconds to detect the virus,” Professor Kaywalee Chatdarong, the leader of the project at the veterinary faculty of Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University said.
The Thai researcher further said that the dogs can detect a volatile organic compound secreted in the sweat of COVID-19 sufferers, even in the absence of disease symptoms.
There is no direct connection involved here as the dogs would not need to directly sniff people, but could screen samples of sweat, a task that should not be difficult in a tropical country such as Thailand, she added.
Chile, Finland, and India are other countries that have also launched efforts to get sniffer dogs to detect the virus, with a German veterinary clinic saying last month its sniffer dogs had achieved 94% detection accuracy in human saliva.
“The next step is we will put them out in the field,” said Kaywalee.
“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.”