Study says dogs are 97% sensitive at detecting COVID-19 in patients
Compared to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, dogs can detect COVID-19 infections via scent with high sensitivity (97%) – albeit lower specificity (91 %) – even when patients are asymptomatic, according to a study in PLOS A yesterday.
Scientists in Paris took samples of nasopharynx, saliva and sweat (from participants’ armpits) from 335 outpatients, 143 of whom had COVID-like symptoms and 192 did not. Of the 335, 109 patients tested positive for COVID-19 via RT-PCR and 226 tested negative. Of the 109 volunteers with lab-confirmed COVID-19, 78 had symptoms and 31 did not.
Trained dogs correctly identified 106 of 109 COVID-positive patients and 206 of 226 COVID-negative patients. This translates to an overall sensitivity of 97% (95% confidence interval [CI], 92% to 99%), which reached 100% (95% CI, 89% to 100%) in asymptomatic patients compared with RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs. The specificity for dogs was 91% (95% CI, 72% to 91%), reaching 94% (95% CI, 90% to 97%) in asymptomatic patients. This compares to an 84% sensitivity and 97% specificity for the nasopharyngeal antigen test.
The study authors conclude: “Our results show the excellent sensitivity of detection of SARS-CoV-2 by dogs using nasopharyngeal RT-PCR as a benchmark for comparison. These results are consistent with results obtained previously in proof-of-concept studies using sweat in hospitalized patients.”
The authors cite four studies conducted in 2020 and 2021, but an additional study published last month demonstrated how trained dogs can detect COVID-19 in air travelers.
June 1 PLOS A study
CDC reports 30 more unexplained cases of hepatitis in children
In its weekly update yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that investigations are underway into 30 more unexplained cases of hepatitis in children, bringing the national total to 246. The number of affected states and jurisdictions remained the same, at 38.
The CDC said many recently reported cases are retrospective, with the investigation covering illnesses experienced since October 2021.
More than 650 potential cases have been reported in 33 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced last week in its latest update. So far, a definitive cause has not been established, but a possible role for adenovirus is a solid lead. The CDC and other groups are also looking at other infections, such as COVID-19, as well as other types of exposures, including toxins.
June 1 CDC update
Bird flu hits poultry for the first time in Georgia
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today reported Georgia’s first highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak of the year, which affected a flock of backyard and brought to 36 the number of states reporting the virus in poultry. .
The Georgia outbreak occurred at a location with 409 birds in Toombs County, about 90 miles west of Savannah. The state had previously reported the virus in wild birds, but not since late March.
In other cases of bird flu, APHIS reported two more outbreaks, both in backyard birds. One occurred in Becker County, Minnesota, and the other struck a herd in Snohomish County, Washington.
June 2 USDA APHIS Announcement
USDA APHIS Avian Influenza Poultry Outbreak Page
H9N2 bird flu infects 2 others in China
China has reported two more cases of H9N2 avian flu, both in people who had been exposed to live poultry markets, according to a statement from the Macau Health Department which was translated and published by Avian Flu Diary (AFD). , an infectious disease news blog.
Both patients are children who have had mild infections. One is a 5-year-old boy from Hunan Province whose symptoms began on April 26, and the other is a 2-year-old boy from Guizhou Province who fell ill on May 8.
H9N2 is known to circulate in poultry in some Asian countries. Most human cases have been reported in China. Infections are more common in children, who usually suffer from mild illnesses. The country had reported four cases of H9N2 earlier this year.
AFD post of June 2
Iraq reports resurgence of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
Iraq is experiencing a peak in Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever activity this year, with cases reported in several governorates, the WHO said yesterday.
Although CCHF, a viral disease usually transmitted by ticks, is endemic in Iraq, the number of cases reported in the first 5 months of the year is much higher than that reported in 2021. So far, 212 cases have been reported, including 97 in the laboratory. -confirmed. There have been 27 deaths, including 13 among patients with laboratory-confirmed infections.
By comparison, the country reported 33 lab-confirmed cases in 2021.
Most of the patients were in contact with animals and were breeders or butchers. Half of the cases were in Thiquar governorate in the southeast. In addition to transmission by ticks, the virus can be transmitted by contact with blood or tissues of infected people or livestock.
The WHO said there is a risk of spread in Iraq due to an upcoming religious holiday when more animals will be slaughtered. He added that the situation poses a cross-border risk due to holiday travel. Cases in Iraq spiked in March and April due to Ramadan celebrations.
WHO announcement on June 1