Can dogs detect Covid-19? According to a Finnish study, they can. In addition, if they are infected with the wild-type virus used to instruct them. Scientists from the University of Helsinki used four canines to analyze 420 samples for which RT-PCR results were already available. Furthermore, for the purposes of this study, the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport in Finland was subjected to a random selection of 303 incoming passengers.
According to the study, RT-PCR testing showed an overall accuracy rate of 92 percent. Dogs trained with the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 virus were able to detect new variations, albeit only slightly more reliably, indicating their huge selection power.” The study was recently published in the journal BMJ Global Health.
Last year, two Indian Army canines successfully detected Covid-19. Canines correctly detected Covid-19 positive or negative samples in 92 percent of the initial stage of the experiment, which served as validation. Because of the SARS-CoV-2 variant status, no COVID-19 positive samples were detected. Only 36% of the alpha variant samples were accurately recognized by the dogs in the study.
In the real-world context at the airport, there were 296 RT-PCR results that agreed with the dogs’, implying an accuracy of 97.7 percent. Only three of the 303 people who took part in the real-life study tested positive. 115 Covid-19 samples were also given to the airport canines to ensure that they could detect the virus even at low levels of prevalence. The researchers obtained a positive identification rate of 98.7 percent.
A nationwide survey was undertaken between September 2020 and April 2021 to ascertain if there were any new varieties. According to the authors, due to a lack of variation in Finland at the time of training, only wild-type samples were employed in the study. Because of the inclusion of the new variety, there were numerous variances. Concurrent training with samples of developing virus types should be used in the future to retain operational work capabilities.