They are able to detect explosives, drugs, some
cancers. Dogs could now be able to detect coronavirus.
Tests have been taking place for a week at the National Veterinary School of Alfort in Val-de-Marne. The first results are encouraging.
It is the police fire brigades that train.
Dogs are trained from a small sample of sweat performed on
several patients with coronavirus. A sample that they will have to spot blindly
over the exercise days.
Professor Dominique Grandjean, of the National Veterinary School of Alfort, is piloting this study and is
rather optimistic about the look quite endless faculties of the nose of these dogs
sniffers. « Firefighter dogs are dogs that are used to
to search for people who are buried or lost, « he explains.
The dog used for its olfactory capacities
« You only need
teach them to focus on a series of samples that are aligned.
If we take a dog looking for explosives for example, he has forty
molecules in the nose, we put one more each day depending on the
capabilities of the dog, « says Professor Grandjean.
For coronavirus research for a few days in
Seine-et-Marne, Lesco, Maïca, Loki, Fiji and Jet, five Malinois from
firefighters of the department are trained by their masters.
Commander Alexandre Jouassard of SDIS 77 explains what this exercise consists of. « In the
tests that are being carried out at the moment, we have four racks. On these racks there is only one
Covid-19 sampling tip and the other three have other odors. The goal
is to work so that the dog characterizes this smell and stops in front, « argues the commander.
Encouraging first results
The first training sessions are encouraging. Dogs go
then be put in situation on people carrying the sample. Not
guaranteed result still 100%. Professor Grandjean’s hope is to use
these dogs trained in addition to tests during deconfinement.
« This can allow
also from make border controls, airports, or disembarkation
liners. Then it will be up to the authorities to decide whether they use it or
not. If we want to do mass detection, we have every interest in having
dogs that are able to pass a line of people and sit
in front of the positive person, « says the professor.
This study is conducted in all on a hundred dogs in
a dozen countries around the world, leaving hope for results soon
the end of the month.