Dogs are trained to sniff potential new coronaviruses in humans

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) — Scientists are now training dogs to detect new coronaviruses through nose sniffing, and a new project at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is actively testing dogs to see if their olfactory ability helps detect new coronaviruses that lurk in the human body early, according tomedia reports.

Dogs are trained to sniff potential new coronaviruses in humans

Dogs can accurately identify people with asymptomatic new coronavirus infections, and as people return to work and social distance restrictions ease, dogs play an important role in outbreak prevention and control, according to a new statement from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Now that scientists are training dogs to sniff their noses to identify the new coronavirus, a new research project at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is actively conducting outbreak testing, and they are studying dogs to see if their sensitive olfactory ability can help detect new coronaviruses in the body earlier.

Since the 1980s, reports have documented dogs’ ability to sniff cancer, Cynthia Otto, director of the Center for Working Dogs at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement that many cells produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with unique odors found in the body’s blood, saliva, urine or breathing.

New research shows that the odor of volatile organic compounds released by cancer cells is unique, with a dog’s sensitive nose having as many as 300 million olfactory cells (compared with about 6 million olfactory cells in the human nose) that detect cancer cells. In fact, most dogs can be trained to recognize the smell of a particular cancer for about six months, and the same ability allows dogs to identify diseases caused by the new coronavirus.

In the University of Pennsylvania veterinary program, eight dogs were initially trained in a laboratory environment. Another statement said that over a three-week period, they will first learn to recognize the smell of the new coronavirus in the saliva and urine of infected patients, and then they will be responsible for distinguishing between these samples and those taken from the bodies of never-been patients.

“The potential impact of these dogs, and their ability to detect new coronaviruses, is very strong, and this study will use the dogs’ extraordinary ability to support the new coronavirus surveillance system and reduce community virus transmission,” Cynthia said. “

But are dogs at risk of being exposed to the new coronavirus? In March, a pet dog in Hong Kong tested positive for the new coronavirus, which experts suspect was transmitted from infected owners, the first human-animal transmission of the virus.

However, some experts questioned the dog’s diagnosis, initially without a blood test, which confirmed the presence of new coronavirus antibodies resistant to infection, and subsequent blood tests that did not find any new coronavirus antibodies.

At the same time, the dog may have a slight immune response to the new coronavirus, which does not need to produce specific antibodies. Another, a harba dog from North Carolina, usa, tested positive for the virus after its owner tested positive for the virus.

According to a veterinary statement from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, trained dogs were able to begin sniffing new coronaviruses on human bodies in July. (Ye Ding Cheng)