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Bio-Detection dogs – can they sniff out COVID-19?

Scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Durham University and the charity Medical Detection Dogs have carried out a phase 1 randomised control trial to see whether highly trained working dogs are able to detect, by sniffing, the odour of SARS-CoV-2 infection on samples of clothing and masks worn by volunteers, and whether they can distinguish between positive samples and negative samples.

The scientists have their first early results which look at whether dogs can detect SARS-CoV-2 reliably in highly controlled circumstances, and with what accuracy.  Their results have been posted as a preprint – so this is early work which has not yet been through peer review or published in a journal.

Journalists dialled in to this briefing to hear from the scientists leading the research, and to ask them their questions.


Speakers included:

Prof James Logan, project lead and Head of the Department of Disease Control, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr Claire Guest, Chief Scientific Officer at Medical Detection Dogs

Prof Steve Lindsay, Department of Biosciences, Durham University


This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.


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