Dogs can smell if people have malaria


– People with malaria parasites produce special odors on the skin. We found that dogs with a delicate scent could be trained to detect these scents. It also applies to infected clothing, said Steven Lindsay, Department of Biosciences at the University of Durham, UK and a major investigator for a new malaria study.

He recently presented his findings at the American Tropical Medical and Hygiene Society meeting.

Sniffed socks

Several hundreds of Gangan schoolchildren participated in the study. First, they went through a general health check and they were tested for malaria parasites. Then they got tights for use overnight. The next day, scientists collected their socks and distributed them to the infestation of children. They just collected socks for malaria children without the symptoms of fresh children and socks. The socks were then sent to England. Here they were frozen down when the snuff dogs were trained.

The boxing test was supposed to distinguish between socks and tired and healthy children in malaria. They should bully each pair of arms and freeze if they think they've found malaria's mites. If they did not smell something, they should go ahead.

The result of the test showed that dogs were able to identify 70 percent of malaria infected socks and 90 percent of the healthy.

Great Malarian mutated

Researchers say the impact accuracy is impressive and that dogs were able to identify socks with a lower infection status than those required by the World Health Organization (WHO) speed tests.

Generally, malaria is diagnosed with blood samples and microscopy. It can be time-consuming and special skills are needed. You can also use fast blood tests from the blood, but they are quite expensive. They have a high level of precision.

Scientists were aware that this was so-called proof of the conceptto investigate, to show that the dog can diagnose malaria. They also believe that the snout dogs' accuracy can be as good as blood tests. Lindsey justifies this because malaria parasites are not always the same type as they pass through the various stages of the disease. The odor they create on the skin will then change.

He points out that the tests used today may also be short when malaria parasites are altered. Thus, the parasites may not have the specific protein necessary in clinical trials to detect infection

In addition, scientists believe that the ability of irritable dogs to detect certain malaria-related scents can be an inspiration for the development of emerging and artificial electronic noses that can destroy the disease.

Malaria shelter at the border

Lindsey believes that pissing dogs can be useful when health authorities want to check out villages for malaria without visible symptoms. As a driver, you can move malaria parasites to local mosquitoes. The only way we need to prevent the spread today is to test or improve every village.

Researchers behind the study believe that snout dogs would work well at border crossing points, countries where malaria has been almost destroyed. Lindsey pulls Zanzibar on the island of East Africa, where removal of malaria parasites has been difficult due to the smooth flow of immigrants.

Too exact

Gunnar Hasle is a specialist in infectious diseases and works at the Reiseklinikken in Oslo. He says that the preliminary price level of 70% is too low.

"This means that the method is useless to find out whether a person with fever, malaria, because errors can not be accepted by 30 percent.

He also points out 90 percent of the healthy, and 10 percent receive a malevolent message to malaria.

"It is an acceptable amount if the method is used to disrupt a large number of healthy people," he says.

Blood test at the clinic, dog boundary

Hasle also notes that odors have been used for hundreds of years. Among other things, it is possible to succeed in diabetes, inhaling acetone with odor or nail polish. In addition, it is possible to break down the liver function because the person has a sweet smell.

"There have also been attempts to get dogs to diagnose lung cancer," Hasle said referring to the questionnaire for 2012. The result was roughly the same as that of malaria research.

She believes that it is absolutely impossible to use dogs to diagnose clinics and that, however, it is difficult to train enough dogs to meet their needs

– All tropical healthcare units should have access to malaria diagnosis. Then it is much easier to get quick tests that you can use after minimal training than getting trained dogs.

However, he believes that they can help in some cases and support scientists' idea of ​​using snuff dogs as guardians of malaria.

"Sniff dogs can be used for mass screening immigration in a region that has eradicated malaria," he noted.


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