Yucatán collaborates in the Covid-19 detector K-9 units project

(Photo: Cinvestav Mérida)

Mérida, Yucatán, (November 23, 2021).- A group from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the IPN (Cinvestav) Mérida Unit participates in the Conacyt Frontiers of Science Project to improve the effectiveness of Covid-19 detection dogs.

The specialists, headed by Víctor Manuel Vidal Martínez, are in charge of isolating the volatile compounds present in the sweat of people positive for the virus to reinforce the training of dogs specialized in identifying people with Covid-19.

The Cinvestav Unidad Mérida joins the Obi-K19 Canine School, located in Hermosillo, Sonora, to face the pandemic with a reliable and lower-cost option, such as the presence of detector dogs in public places.

“Dogs are capable of detecting in a matter of seconds if a person has Covid-19, which makes them an affordable alternative to be used in industries, shopping centers, airports or at sporting events where many people attend,” said Vidal Martínez in a statement from Cinvestav.

(Photo: Cinvestav Mérida )

The project consists of collecting compounds from sweat that will be sniffed out by the dogs in order to carry out an effective detection of the disease.

According to information released by Cinvestav, dogs have a success rate of 71 to 85 to identify positive cases for SARS-CoV-2m, that is, higher than that recorded by antigen tests, which is 72 percent.

In addition, dogs have the ability to identify people with coronavirus even three days before the first symptoms appear or other screening tests.

The work of the Cinvestav Unidad Mérida team is focused on achieving effectiveness of 90 percent or greater.

(Photo: Cinvestav Mérida)

To do this, 200 body sweat samples from 100 Covid-19 negative people and 100 positive people will be analyzed to obtain the detection pattern.

Tests will also be done with people standing in a line.

“A line is formed made up of healthy individuals and those who suspect they are sick, when the dogs detect a positive case they change their behavior, for example, they sit down and the handler recognizes these signs. If two canines coincide in the detection, it is recommended to do an RT-PCR test in order to confirm the result ”, explains Cinvestav. 

Source: La Jornada Maya