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1.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1689-1692, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718387

ABSTRACT

The appearance of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 carrying mutations into the spike protein has recently raised concern with respect to tracking their transmission and mitigating the impact in the evolving pandemic across countries. AY.4.2, a recently detected Delta variant sublineage, is considered a new variant under investigation (VUI) as it carries specific genetic signatures present in the spike protein, called Y145H and A222V. Here, using genomic epidemiology, we provide the first preliminary insight regarding the circulation of this emerging VUI in Italy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Child , Female , Genomics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Mutation , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318541

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China and has become a public health emergency of international concern. SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has been declared a pandemic by WHO on March 11 th , 2020 and the same month several Countries put in place different lockdown restrictions and testing strategies in order to contain the spread of the virus. Methods: : The calculation of the Case Fatality Rate of SARS-CoV-2 in the Countries selected was made by using the data available at https://github.com/owid/covi-19-data/tree/master/public/data . Case fatality rate was calculated as the ratio between the death cases due to COVID-19, over the total number of SARS-CoV-2 reported cases 14 days before. Standard Case Fatality Rate values were normalized by the Country-specific ρ factor, i.e. the number of PCR tests/1 million inhabitants over the number of reported cases/1 million inhabitants. Case-fatality rates between Countries were compared using proportion test. Post-hoc analysis in the case of more than two groups was performed using pairwise comparison of proportions and p-value was adjusted using Holm method.We also analyzed 487 genomic sequences from the GISAID database derived from patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 from January 2020 to April 2020 in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Sweden, UK and USA. SARS-CoV-2 reference genome was obtained from the GenBank database (NC_045512.2). Genomes alignment was performed using Muscle and Jalview software. We, then, calculated the Case Fatality Rate of SARS-CoV-2 in the Countries selected. Results: : In this study we analyse how different lockdown strategies and PCR testing capability adopted by Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA have influenced the Case Fatality Rate and the viral mutations spread. We calculated case fatality rates by dividing the death number of a specific day by the number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection observed 14 days before and normalized by a ρ factor which takes into account the diagnostic PCR testing capability of each Country and the number of positive cases detected. We notice the stabilization of a clear pattern of mutations at sites nt241, nt3037, nt14408 and nt23403. A novel nonsynonymous SARS-CoV-2 mutation in the spike protein (nt24368) has been found in genomes sequenced in Sweden, which enacted a soft lockdown strategy. Conclusions: : Strict lockdown strategies together with a wide diagnostic PCR testing of the population were correlated with a relevant decline of the case fatality rate in different Countries. The emergence of specific patterns of mutations concomitant with the decline in case fatality rate needs further confirmation and their biological significance remains unclear.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318540

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 is a RNA coronavirus responsible for the pandemic of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (COVID-19). RNA viruses are characterized by a high mutation rate, up to a million times higher than that of their hosts. Virus mutagenic capability depends upon several factors, including the fidelity of viral enzymes that replicate nucleic acids, as SARS-CoV-2 RNA dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRp). Mutation rate drives viral evolution and genome variability, thereby enabling viruses to escape host immunity and to develop drug resistance. Methods. We analyzed 220 genomic sequences from the GISAID database derived from patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 worldwide from December 2019 to mid-March 2020. SARS-CoV-2 reference genome was obtained from the GenBank database. Genomes alignment was performed using Clustal Omega. Mann-Whitney and Fisher-Exact tests were used to assess statistical significance.Results. We characterized 8 novel recurrent mutations of SARS-CoV-2, located at positions 1397, 2891, 14408, 17746, 17857, 18060, 23403 and 28881. Mutations in 2891, 3036, 14408, 23403 and 28881 positions are predominantly observed in Europe, whereas those located at positions 17746, 17857 and 18060 are exclusively present in North America. We noticed that the 14408 mutation, emerged for the first time in Europe in mid-February 2020, is present in the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp gene sequence. Viruses with RdRp mutation have a median of 3 point mutations [range: 2-5], otherwise they have a median of 1 mutation [range: 0-3] (p value < 0.001). Conclusions. These findings suggest that the virus is evolving and European, North American and Asian strains might coexist, each of them characterized by a different mutation pattern. The contribution of the mutated RdRp to this phenomenon needs to be investigated. To date, several drugs targeting RdRp enzymes are being employed for SARS-CoV-2 infection treatment. Some of them have a predicted binding moiety in a SARS-CoV-2 RdRp hydrophobic cleft, which is adjacent to the 14408 mutation we identified. Consequently, it is important to study and characterize SARS-CoV-2 RdRp mutation in order to assess possible drug-resistance viral phenotypes. It is also important to recognize whether the presence of some mutations might correlate with different SARS-CoV-2 mortality rates.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306875

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that was initially reported in city of Wuhan, China and afterwards spread globally. Genomic analyses revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like (SARS-like) Pangolin and Bat coronavirus specific isolates. In this study we focused on two proteins of Sars-CoV-2 surface: Envelope protein and Membrane protein. Sequences from Sars-CoV-2 isolates and other closely related virus were collected from the GenBank through TBlastN searches. The retrieved sequences were multiply aligned with MAFFT. The Envelope protein is identical to the counterparts from Pangolin CoV MP798 isolate and Bat CoV isolates CoVZXC21, CoVZC45 and RaTG13. However, a substitution at position 69 where an Arg replace for Glu, and a deletion in position 70 corresponding to Gly or Cys in other Envelope proteins were found. The Membrane glycoprotein appears more variable with respect to the SARS CoV proteins than the Envelope: a heterogeneity at the N-terminal position, exposed to the virus surface, was found between Pangolin CoV MP798 isolate and Bat CoV isolates CoVZXC21, CoVZC45 and RaTG13. Mutations observed on Envelope protein are drastic and may have significant implications for conformational properties and possibly for protein-protein interactions. Mutations on Membrane protein may also be relevant because this protein cooperates with the Spike during the cell attachment and entry. Therefore, these mutations may influence interaction with host cells. The mutations that have been detected in these comparative studies may reflect functional peculiarities of the Sars-CoV-2 virus and may help explaining the epizootic origin the COVID-19 epidemic.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306652

ABSTRACT

Background: The new Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which was first detected in Wuhan (China) in December of 2019 is responsible for the current global pandemic.Phylogenetic analysis revealed that it is similar to other betacoronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV and Middle-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, MERS-CoV. Its genome is ∼30 kb in length and contains two large overlapping polyproteins, ORF1a and ORF1ab that encode for several structural and non-structural proteins. The non-structural protein 1 (nsp1) is arguably the most important pathogenic determinant, and previous studies on SARS-CoV indicate that it is both involved in viral replication and hampering the innate immune system response. Detailed experiments of site-specific mutagenesis and in vitro reconstitution studies determined that the mechanisms of action are mediated by i) the presence of specific amino acid residues of nsp1 and b) the interaction between the protein and the host’s small ribosomal unit. In fact, substitution of certain amino acids resulted in reduction of its negative effects. Methods: : A total of 17928 genome sequences were obtained from the GISAID database (December 2019 to July 2020) from patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 from different areas around the world. Genomes alignment was performed using MAFFT (REFF) and the nsp1 genomic regions were identified using BioEdit and verified using BLAST. Nsp1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 with and without deletion have been subsequently modelled using I-TASSER. Results: We identified SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, from several Countries, carrying a previously unknown deletion of 9 nucleotides in position 686-694, corresponding to the AA position 241-243 (KSF). This deletion was found in different geographical areas. Structural prediction modelling suggests an effect on the C-terminal tail structure. Conclusions: Modelling analysis of a newly identified deletion of 3 amino acids (KSF) of SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 suggests that this deletion could affect the structure of the C-terminal region of the protein, important for regulation of viral replication and negative effect on host’s gene expression. In addition, substitution of the two amino acids (KS) from nsp1 of SARS-CoV was previously reported to revert loss of interferon-alpha expression. The deletion that we describe indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is undergoing profound genomic changes. It is important to: i) confirm the spreading of this particular viral strain, and potentially of strains with other deletions in the nsp1 protein, both in the population of asymptomatic and pauci-symptomatic subjects, and ii) correlate these changes in nsp1 with potential decreased viral pathogenicity.

7.
Front Public Health ; 9: 735601, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581127

ABSTRACT

Despite the "migrants and COVID-19" topic has been neglected since felt marginal concerning other aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, it represents a relevant public health issue in the European countries. This report describes COVID-19 containment strategies adopted in a large Italian reception center hosting recently arrived asylum-seeker migrants. Risk assessment and prevention measures adopted were described. Geo-spatial epidemiological analysis of the outbreak was reported. Significant gaps in the knowledge of self-protection measures from contagious diseases and in the perception of the pandemic risk were observed in migrants; health promotion activities, targeted to remove cultural barriers and improve behaviors appropriate to individual protection, were able to fulfill this gap. In low-resource settings, especially in closed communities, the implementation of social distancing strategies, the systematic use of individual protection devices, and active syndromic surveillance are essential tools to limit the risk of outbreaks. In the event of an outbreak, it is relevant to rapidly activate containment procedures based on systematic screening, isolation, and quarantine, taking into consideration the limits of tracing contacts within a closed community. Not being able to trace certain contacts, the geo-spatial epidemiological analysis of cases distribution could be key in the management of the outbreak. Interestingly, positive cases identified in our facility were all clinically pauci-symptomatic or asymptomatic. Dedicated strategies are needed to minimize the chance of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a limited space such as reception centers and a vulnerable population such as migrants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Developing Countries , Europe , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580792

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The contamination of ambulances with pathogenic agents represents a potential threat for the public health, not only for common pathogens but also for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The aim of this project was to exploits the germicidal effect of the UVC radiation at 254 nm to sanitize the patient's compartment of ambulances with an advanced UltraViolet SANitizing System (UV-SAN) and assess its relevance for avoiding the spread of COVID-19 and other drug resistant pathogens. METHODS: The system is equipped with UVC lamps that are activated when the ambulance compartment is empty and sanitize the environment in less than 15 min. An Ozone sensor continuously monitors the gas concentration, ensuring it does not exceed threshold value harmful for patients and operators' health. The system is relying on GNSS data and a satellite communication link, which allow to monitor and record traceability (when, where and what) of all the sanitation operations performed. This information is real-time monitored from a dedicated web-application. RESULTS: UVC irradiation efficiently reduced SARS-CoV-2 virus titer (>99.99%), on inanimate surfaces such as plastic, stainless steel or rubber, with doses ranging from 5.5 to 24.8 mJ/cm2 and the UV-SAN system is effective against multi drug resistant (MDR) bacteria up to >99.99%, after 10 to 30 min of irradiation. CONCLUSIONS: UV-SAN can provide rapid, efficient and sustainable sanitization procedures of ambulances.


Subject(s)
Ambulances , COVID-19 , Disinfection , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultraviolet Rays
9.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6551-6556, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1530181

ABSTRACT

Lineage B.1.617+, also known as G/452R.V3 and now denoted by WHO with the Greek letters δ and κ, is a recently described SARS-CoV-2 variant under investigation first identified in October 2020 in India. As of May 2021, three sublineages labeled as B.1.617.1 (κ), B.1.617.2 (δ), and B.1.617.3 have been already identified, and their potential impact on the current pandemic is being studied. This variant has 13 amino acid changes, three in its spike protein, which are currently of particular concern: E484Q, L452R, and P681R. Here, we report a major effect of the mutations characterizing this lineage, represented by a marked alteration of the surface electrostatic potential (EP) of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Enhanced RBD-EP is particularly noticeable in the B.1.617.2 (δ) sublineage, which shows multiple replacements of neutral or negatively charged amino acids with positively charged amino acids. We here hypothesize that this EP change can favor the interaction between the B.1.617+ RBD and the negatively charged ACE2, thus conferring a potential increase in the virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Mutation , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Static Electricity
10.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6479-6485, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1530178

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) originated in Wuhan, China in early December 2019 has rapidly widespread worldwide. Over the course of the pandemic, due to the advance of whole-genome sequencing technologies, an unprecedented number of genomes have been generated, providing both invaluable insights into the ongoing evolution and epidemiology of the virus and allowing the identification of hundreds of circulating genetic variants during the pandemic. In recent months variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have an increased number of mutations on the Spike protein have brought concern all over the world. These have been called "variants of concerns" (VOCs), and/or "variants of interests" (VOIs) as it has been suggested that their genome mutations might impact transmission, immune control, and virulence. Tracking the spread of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is crucial to inform public health efforts and control the ongoing pandemic. In this review, a concise characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 mutational patterns of the main VOCs and VOIs circulating and cocirculating worldwide has been presented to determine the magnitude of the SARS-CoV-2 threat to better understand the virus genetic diversity and its potential impact on vaccination strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , China/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Mutation Rate , Phylogeny , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Whole Genome Sequencing
11.
J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5924-5930, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432426

ABSTRACT

The introduction of trained sniffer dogs for COVID-19 detection could be an opportunity, as previously described for other diseases. Dogs could be trained to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the whiff of COVID-19. Dogs involved in the study were three, one male and two females from different breeds, Black German Shepherd, German Shepherd, and Dutch Shepherd. The training was performed using sweat samples from SARS-CoV2 positive patients and from SARS-Cov2 free patients admitted at the University Hospital Campus Bio-medico of Rome. Gauze with sweat was collected in a glass jar with a metal top and put in metal boxes used for dog training. The dog training protocol was performed in two phases: the olfactory conditioning and the olfactory discrimination research. The training planning was focused on the switch moment for the sniffer dog, the moment when the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19. At this time, the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19 with significant reliability, in terms of the number of correct versus incorrect (p < 0.0001) reporting. In conclusion, this protocol could provide a useful tool for sniffer dogs' training and their introduction in a mass screening context. It could be cheaper and faster than a conventional testing method.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Learning/physiology , Smell/physiology , Working Dogs/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Dogs , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sweat/chemistry , Volatile Organic Compounds/analysis , Volatile Organic Compounds/isolation & purification
12.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 489, 2021 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387493

ABSTRACT

We investigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics in Italy, one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic, using phylodynamic analysis of viral genetic and epidemiological data. We observed the co-circulation of multiple SARS-CoV-2 lineages over time, which were linked to multiple importations and characterized by large transmission clusters concomitant with a high number of infections. Subsequent implementation of a three-phase nationwide lockdown strategy greatly reduced infection numbers and hospitalizations. Yet we present evidence of sustained viral spread among sporadic clusters acting as "hidden reservoirs" during summer 2020. Mathematical modelling shows that increased mobility among residents eventually catalyzed the coalescence of such clusters, thus driving up the number of infections and initiating a new epidemic wave. Our results suggest that the efficacy of public health interventions is, ultimately, limited by the size and structure of epidemic reservoirs, which may warrant prioritization during vaccine deployment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Genome, Viral/genetics , Mutation , Public Health/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Geography , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Public Health/trends , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
15.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5630-5634, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363678

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly widespread worldwide becoming one of the major global public health issues of the last centuries. Currently, COVID-19 vaccine rollouts are finally upon us carrying the hope of herd immunity once a sufficient proportion of the population has been vaccinated or infected, as a new horizon. However, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants brought concerns since, as the virus is exposed to environmental selection pressures, it can mutate and evolve, generating variants that may possess enhanced virulence. Codon usage analysis is a strategy to elucidate the evolutionary pressure of the viral genome suffered by different hosts, as possible cause of the emergence of new variants. Therefore, to get a better picture of the SARS-CoV-2 codon bias, we first identified the relative codon usage rate of all Betacoronaviruses lineages. Subsequently, we correlated putative cognate transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNAs) to reveal how those viruses adapt to hosts in relation to their preferred codon usage. Our analysis revealed seven preferred codons located in three different open reading frame which appear preferentially used by SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the tRNA adaptation analysis indicates a wide strategy of competition between the virus and mammalian as principal hosts highlighting the importance to reinforce the genomic monitoring to prompt identify any potential adaptation of the virus into new potential hosts which appear to be crucial to prevent and mitigate the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Codon Usage , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral , Mammals , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Codon , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Mutation , Open Reading Frames , Phylogeny , RNA, Transfer
16.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6475-6476, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347418

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans
17.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6479-6485, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1306658

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) originated in Wuhan, China in early December 2019 has rapidly widespread worldwide. Over the course of the pandemic, due to the advance of whole-genome sequencing technologies, an unprecedented number of genomes have been generated, providing both invaluable insights into the ongoing evolution and epidemiology of the virus and allowing the identification of hundreds of circulating genetic variants during the pandemic. In recent months variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have an increased number of mutations on the Spike protein have brought concern all over the world. These have been called "variants of concerns" (VOCs), and/or "variants of interests" (VOIs) as it has been suggested that their genome mutations might impact transmission, immune control, and virulence. Tracking the spread of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is crucial to inform public health efforts and control the ongoing pandemic. In this review, a concise characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 mutational patterns of the main VOCs and VOIs circulating and cocirculating worldwide has been presented to determine the magnitude of the SARS-CoV-2 threat to better understand the virus genetic diversity and its potential impact on vaccination strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , China/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Mutation Rate , Phylogeny , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Whole Genome Sequencing
18.
Minerva Urol Nephrol ; 73(3): 384-391, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298271

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic induced a global emergency that overwhelmed most hospitals around the world. Access to hospitals has been restricted to selective oncological and urgent patients to minimize surgeries requiring Intensive Care Unit care. All other kind of non-urgent and benign surgeries have been rescheduled. The burden of oncological and urgent cases on the healthcare system has increased. METHODS: We have been asked to become the referral center for major oncological and urgent urological surgeries, increasing our surgical volume. Through meticulous hospital protocols on PPE, use of nasopharyngeal swabs, controlled hospital access and the prompt management of suspected/positive cases, we were able to perform 31% more urological surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same period in 2019. RESULTS: We observed a 72% increase in oncological surgical procedures and 150% in urgent procedures. CONCLUSIONS: Our experience shows how the management of oncological and urgent cases can be maintained during unexpected, global emergencies, such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Urologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Anesthesia , Emergency Medical Services , Humans , Italy , Nasopharynx/virology , Patient Care Team , Personal Protective Equipment , Referral and Consultation , Surgical Oncology , Telemedicine/trends , Urologic Neoplasms/surgery
20.
J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5924-5930, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274731

ABSTRACT

The introduction of trained sniffer dogs for COVID-19 detection could be an opportunity, as previously described for other diseases. Dogs could be trained to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the whiff of COVID-19. Dogs involved in the study were three, one male and two females from different breeds, Black German Shepherd, German Shepherd, and Dutch Shepherd. The training was performed using sweat samples from SARS-CoV2 positive patients and from SARS-Cov2 free patients admitted at the University Hospital Campus Bio-medico of Rome. Gauze with sweat was collected in a glass jar with a metal top and put in metal boxes used for dog training. The dog training protocol was performed in two phases: the olfactory conditioning and the olfactory discrimination research. The training planning was focused on the switch moment for the sniffer dog, the moment when the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19. At this time, the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19 with significant reliability, in terms of the number of correct versus incorrect (p < 0.0001) reporting. In conclusion, this protocol could provide a useful tool for sniffer dogs' training and their introduction in a mass screening context. It could be cheaper and faster than a conventional testing method.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Learning/physiology , Smell/physiology , Working Dogs/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Dogs , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sweat/chemistry , Volatile Organic Compounds/analysis , Volatile Organic Compounds/isolation & purification
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