This Malinois shepherd also trains to detect the Covid thanks to the sweat of men -


  • Called Cynocov, a project coordinated by the Bordeaux University Hospital is experimenting with the possibility that dogs will become “allies” in the hunt for the coronavirus.

  • Since January 4, in Libourne, five dogs have been training to spot sweating compresses taken from the armpits of people positive for Covid-19, at the start of the infection.

  • "On average, dogs manage to detect 95% of positive cases", assures Prof. Dominique Grandjean, to whom we owe the Nosaïs-Covid19 method enriching the immense "olfactory library" of dogs, already used for the detection of certain cancers.

The objective is to provide a "complementary solution" in the hunt against the coronavirus ... A study coordinated by the Bordeaux University Hospital, associated with Ceva animal health, the leading French veterinary laboratory, in this project, is testing the possibility that dogs become "allies" in the hunt for the virus.

Normally, Eliot tracks down criminals or missing people.

But for the past month, this Malinois shepherd has also been training to detect Covid-19 thanks to men's sweat.

Like Eliot, Labrador Marvel and three other Malinois and German shepherds, all members of the canine brigades of the national gendarmerie in New Aquitaine and the Gironde firefighters, have been training since January 4 in Libourne, near Bordeaux, in their new "game": spotting compresses of perspiration taken for ten minutes under the armpits of people positive for Covid-19, at the start of infection.

"They detect degradation organic matter from infection"

Almost every day, sweat samples arrive from the CHU to be presented to the truffles of the dogs trained at the training center installed by Ceva at its headquarters in Libourne.

"They detect degradation organic matter resulting from the infection", devoid of viral expression, specifies Dr Pierre-Marie Borne, referent at Ceva.

At the signal "To the cone!"

The dogs get to work.

After Eskiss, specialist in the detection of "stups", weapons and ammunition, the Malinois Eliot in turn plunges his muzzle into a row of metal cones.

Suddenly, he marks in front of two of those funnels, tail wagging: inside are two separate samples of sweat taken from positive patients.

" It's good !

», Congratulates his master before presenting him with a treat and his favorite toy as a reward.

A few days ago, this dog trail-defense of the gendarmerie in Dordogne was launched on the tracks of a missing person.

"Dogs manage to detect 95% of positive cases for Covid-19"

Called Cynocov, this project supported by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is based on the Nosaïs-Covid19 method developed by Prof. Dominique Grandjean of the Maisons-Alfort National Veterinary School, which enriches the immense “olfactory library” of the dog , already used for the detection of certain cancers.

"On average, dogs manage to detect 95% of positive cases for Covid-19", says Professor Grandjean.

This method has been tested in Corsica in particular and according to the project leaders, "40 countries are working on the subject".

After six to eight weeks of training at a rate of four mornings per week, the dogs' aptitude must still be demonstrated during a clinical study at the CHU before any deployment of the tool.

Objective: to test their performance on different types of samples referring to different areas of the disease, i.e. their ability to apprehend serious or non-serious forms, contagious or less contagious, symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects, but also those infected with a variant.

"The tool will mainly be used to pre-screen" suspicious people

If successful, "the tool will mainly be used to pre-screen" suspicious people in order to "target confirmatory screening needs" by the reference nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test, explains Dr Pierre-Marie Borne. , at Ceva.

"When we know that we will soon have to screen people who are a priori asymptomatic in all kinds of spaces - schools, nursing homes, airports, this type of tool which offers at least a strong criterion of suspicion, will allow in terms of acceptability and responsiveness to facilitate this process, ”said Professor Denis Malvy, head of the infectious and tropical diseases department at the CHU.

Our file on Covid-19

For the professor, also a member of the scientific council, these dogs are "almost our allies in the production of a screening tool which will have", he hopes, "its place in the need to manage this health emergency".


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