Dogs can be trained to detect the novel coronavirus by sniffing human sweat, according to French researchers.
The researchers said in an article published by the journal Plos One that dogs can confirm the presence of the virus by sniffing samples of human sweat.
Researchers based in France and Lebanon took sweat samples from the underarms of a total of 177 patients from four hospitals in Paris and one in Beirut.
Using the sweat samples, they trained 14 dogs who have been working as explosive detection dogs, search and rescue dogs or colon cancer detection dogs to take part in the study.
The study said, "The success rate per dog (i.e., the number of correct indications divided by the number of trials) ranged from 76% to 100%."
"Even if trained dogs are able to correctly discriminate symptomatic Covid-19 positive individuals from asymptomatic negative ones, they should not be considered a perfect diagnostic test -- but rather a complementary tool, " the study said.
The study, the researchers said, was a "promising first step" in providing some evidence that dogs may be able to detect COVID-19 samples collected from sweat.
"However, due to the limitations of this proof-of-concept study (including using some COVID-19 samples more than once and potential confounding biases), these results must be confirmed in validation studies," it added.