No sweat: dogs can detect Covid-19 by sniffing armpits


No sweat: dogs can detect Covid-19 by sniffing armpits

Trained furries score a 95% overall success rate in detecting coronavirus, a better result than hospital tests

Henry Samuel

Dogs are able to detect the presence of Covid-19 on infected patients by sniffing their armpits, according to a new study by French scientists.

Researchers at the national veterinary school in Alfort, outside Paris, trained eight Belgian Malinois shepherd dogs to identify people infected with the coronavirus from odour samples taken from the armpits of more than 360 subjects, both healthy and suffering from Covid-19. The dogs’ overall success rate was 95%, according to a paper published on, a preprint website that posts studies that have not been peer-reviewed.

“We conclude that there is strong evidence that dogs can detect a person infected by the virus responsible for Covid-19 disease,” said Prof Dominique Grandjean, who was on the team...

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