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Malaria sniffer puppies could save lives



Dogs can detect bombs and drugs with their pronounced sense of smell, but recent research indicates that they can also spy on malaria in humans.

If dogs are confirmed by further studies, they could someday help detect malaria early when the treatment is most effective.

The study included two dogs a Labrador Retriever and a Labrador Golden Retriever ̵

1; who were trained to detect the disease through a scent. A third dog, a Springer Spaniel named Freya, was added to the team.

The dogs sniffed nylon socks worn by 30 children infected with malaria parasites and 145 uninfected children. The children aged 5 to 14 years were from the Upper River region of Gambia in West Africa.

According to a study presented on Monday, October 28, dogs identified 70% of children with malaria and 90% of uninfected children in 2018 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in New Orleans.

Early Stage

"While our findings are at an early stage, we have shown in principle that dogs could be trained to provide malaria-infected humans with a credible level of accuracy based on their odor recognize, "said lead investigator Steve Lindsay. He is a professor in the Department of Biosciences at Durham University in the United Kingdom.

"This could be a non-invasive method for screening the disease at the entry ports, much as sniffing dogs routinely use detectors to detect fruit and vegetables or drugs at airports," Lindsay said in a press release from the university.

"This could help prevent the spread of malaria in countries that have been declared malaria-free, and also ensure that people Many of them may not know that they are with the Malaria parasites are receiving and receiving antimalarial treatment for the disease, "said Lindsay.

In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide, 5 million more than in the previous year, according to the World Health Organization in 2016, there were about 445,000 malaria [Log in]

James Logan, co-author of the study, added, "Our advances in the fight against malaria have come to a halt in recent years, so we urgently need new tools to help fight malaria. "Logan is head of the Disease Control Division of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicines.

" Our results indicate that detection dogs can be a serious way to diagnose people who are symptom free but still contagious. faster and easier, "said Logan.

Research presented at sessions should be considered provisional until published in peer-reviewed journal.

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