Once again humans are working to engage our canine friends in the fight against pandemic – this time the covid-19, as a study is underway to explore if dogs can used to differentiate positive Covid-19 patients from Negative patients
So far there have been very few cases of COVID-19 from humans to animals. Most recently has been from human to dog somewhere in North Carolina in the united states reports said. Another familiar case is that of a tiger in a zoo in New York. It is believed the it might caught the virus from an employee at the zoo.
The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania said that it’s launching a research initiative using scent detection dogs to differentiate between samples from COVID-19 positive and negative patients.
The research is to last for three weeks and they plan to use 8 dogs for this research by exposing them to COVID-19-positive saliva and urine samples in a lab environment.
After the dogs learn the scent, investigators will note that the canines can differentiate between positive and negative samples in the laboratory. That’ll then create the basis for testing whether they can identify people infected with COVID-19.
Cynthia Otto, director of Penn Vet’s Working Dog Center, said in a statement:
“The potential impact of these dogs and their capacity to detect COVID-19 could be substantial. This study will harness the dog’s extraordinary ability to support the nation’s COVID-19 surveillance systems, with the goal of reducing community spread.”
Why dogs you might ask? Dogs have always played a vital role in helping to detect diseases in humans. Given that they have very sensitive nose due to the more or less 300 million smell receptors, they can pick up on low concentrations of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, linked to diseases including ovarian cancer, bacterial infections and nasal tumors.
Those volatile organic compounds are found in human fluid like saliva, urine or blood and sometimes breath.
Man’s best friend could be especially helpful to detect the virus in places where testing might be difficult to carry out. Also they could be used for testing among asymptomatic patients.
The School of Veterinary Medicine said screening of humans by trained dogs could start as soon as July 2020