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1.
Saudi Med J ; 43(4): 435, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1787031

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell
2.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266912, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785208

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Altered sense of smell is a commonly reported COVID-19 symptom. The performance of smell testing to identify SARS-CoV-2 infection status is unknown. We measured the ability of formal smell testing to identify SARS-CoV-2 infection and compared its performance with symptom screening. METHODS: A convenience sample of emergency department patients with COVID-19 symptom screening participated in smell testing using an eight odor Pocket Smell Test (PST). Participants received a SARS-CoV-2 viral PCR test after smell testing and completed a health conditions survey. Descriptive analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve models compared the accuracy of smell testing versus symptom screening in identifying SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: Two hundred and ninety-five patients completed smell testing and 87 (29.5%) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Twenty-eight of the SARS-CoV-2 positive patients (32.2%) and 49 of the SARS-CoV-2 negative patients (23.6%) reported at least one of seven screening symptoms (OR = 1.54, P = 0.13). SARS-CoV-2 positive patients were more likely to have hyposmia (≤5 correctly identified odors) than SARS-CoV-2 negative patients (56.1% vs. 19.3%, OR = 5.36, P<0.001). Hyposmia was 52.9% (95% CI 41.9%-63.7%) sensitive and 82.7% (95% CI 76.9%-87.6%) specific for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Presence of ≥1 screening symptom was 32.2% (95% CI 22.6%-43.1%) sensitive and 76.4% (70.1%-82.0%) specific for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The ROC curve for smell testing had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.74 (95% CI 0.67-0.80). The ROC curve for symptom screening had lower discriminatory accuracy for SARS-CoV-2 infection (AUC = 0.55, 95% CI 0.49-0.61, P<0.001) than the smell testing ROC curve. CONCLUSION: Smell testing was superior to symptom screening for identifying SARS-CoV-2 infection in our study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anosmia/diagnosis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Mass Screening , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell
3.
Front Public Health ; 10: 843850, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785447

ABSTRACT

A great number of patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) experience olfactory dysfunction, typically of a short duration and with a high incidence rate, during the early stages of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This kind of olfactory dysfunction appears more likely in young people and women. This study presents a review of the clinical features and pathogenic mechanism of the olfactory dysfunction related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, aiming to provide a clinical reference for the diagnosis, differential diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of olfactory dysfunction in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Adolescent , Female , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell
4.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(6): 2196-2200, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776799

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 has been associated with a wide range of quantitative and qualitative disorders of smell, including hyposmia/anosmia, parosmia, and phantosmia; however, no reports to date have reported hyperosmia as a sequela of SARS-CoV-2 infection. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We present two cases of subjective hyperosmia in a South Tyrolean Alps family, occurring within days after recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection with transient anosmia. RESULTS: The subjects, a mother and son, exhibited subjective hyperosmia despite normal objective olfactory testing. During independent assessments, the severity of hyperosmia and specific odors affected were highly correlated, consistent with shared genetic and environmental factors. In contrast, two other family members with COVID-19 had no perceptual distortion and normal recovery of smell. CONCLUSIONS: Subjective hyperosmia after COVID-19 infection exhibited striking similarity in two affected family members, suggesting interaction of environment, genetics, and perception.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Mothers , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell
5.
6.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 35(2): 406-419, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775615

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Our ability to smell and taste is dictated by 3 chemosensory systems with distinct physiologic mechanisms - olfaction, gustation, and chemesthesis. Although often overlooked, dysfunction of these special senses may have broad implications on multiple facets of patients' lives -including safety, nutritional status, quality of life, mental health, and even cognitive function. As "loss of smell or taste" emerged as a common symptom of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the importance of intact chemosensory function has been thrust into the spotlight. Despite the growing recognition of chemosensory dysfunction, this already highly prevalent condition will increasingly impact a larger and more diverse population, highlighting the need for improved awareness and care of these patients. METHODS: Comtemporary review of chemosensory function and assessments. CONCLUSIONS: Although patient-reported chemosensory function measures highlight the ease of screening of chemosensory dysfunction, self-reported measures underestimate both the prevalence and degree of chemosensory dysfunction and do not adequately distinguish between olfaction, gustation, and chemesthesis. Meanwhile, psychophysical assessment tools provide opportunities for more accurate, thorough assessment of the chemosenses when appropriate. Primary care providers are uniquely situated to identify patients burdened by chemosensory dysfunction and raise patient and provider awareness about the importance of chemosensory dysfunction. Identification of chemosensory dysfunction, particularly olfactory dysfunction, may raise suspicion for many underlying medical conditions, including early detection of neurodegenerative conditions. Furthermore, identification and awareness of patients with chemosensory dysfunction may help primary care providers to identify those who may benefit from additional therapeutic and safety interventions, or consultations with specialists for more detailed evaluations and management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Anosmia , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Quality of Life , Smell
7.
Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi ; 57(3): 282-288, 2022 Mar 07.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760874

ABSTRACT

Objective: To analyze the correlation between loss of smell/taste and the number of real confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide based on Google Trends data, and to explore the guiding role of smell/taste loss for the COVID-19 prevention and control. Methods: "Loss of smell" and "loss of taste" related keywords were searched in the Google Trends platform, the data were obtained from Jan. 1 2019 to Jul. 11 2021. The daily and newly confirmed COVID-19 case number were collected from World Health Organization (WHO) since Dec. 30 2019. All data were statistically analyzed by SPSS 23.0 software. The correlation was finally tested by Spearman correlation analysis. Results: A total of data from 80 weeks were collected. The retrospective analysis was performed on the new trend of COVID-19 confirmed cases in a total of 186 292 441 cases worldwide. Since the epidemic of COVID-19 was recorded on the WHO website, the relative searches related to loss of smell/taste in the Google Trends platform had been increasing globally. The global relative search volumes of "loss of smell" and "loss of taste" on Google Trends was 10.23±2.58 and 16.33±2.47 before the record of epidemic while 80.25±39.81 and 80.45±40.04 after (t value was 8.67, 14.43, respectively, both P<0.001). In the United States and India, the relative searches for "loss of smell" and "loss of taste" after the record of epidemic were also much higher than before (all P<0.001). The correlation coefficients between the trend of weekly new COVID-19 cases and the Google Trends of "loss of smell" in the global, United States, and India was 0.53, 0.76, and 0.82 respectively (all P<0.001), the correlation coefficients with Google Trends of "loss of taste" was 0.54, 0.78, and 0.82 respectively (all P<0.001). The lowest and highest point of loss of smell/taste search curves of Google Trends in different periods appeared 7 to 14 days earlier than that of the weekly newly COVID-19 confirmed cases curves, respectively. Conclusions: There is a significant positive correlation between the number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and the amount of keywords, such as "loss of smell" and "loss of taste", retrieved in Google Trends. The trend of big data based on Google Trends might predict the outbreak trend of COVID-19 in advance.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , COVID-19 , Big Data , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Internet , Retrospective Studies , Smell , United States
8.
Allergy Asthma Proc ; 43(2): 96-105, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760174

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been associated with a dramatic increase in postviral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD) among patients who are infected. A contemporary evidence-based review of current treatment options for PVOD is both timely and relevant to improve patient care. Objective: This review seeks to impact patient care by qualitatively reviewing available evidence in support of medical and procedural treatment options for PVOD. Systematic evaluation of data quality and of the level of evidence was completed to generate current treatment recommendations. Methods: A systematic review was conducted to identify primary studies that evaluated treatment outcomes for PVOD. A number of medical literature data bases were queried from January 1998 to May 2020, with completion of subsequent reference searches of retrieved articles to identify all relevant studies. Validated tools for the assessment of bias among both interventional and observational studies were used to complete quality assessment. The summary level of evidence and associated outcomes were used to generate treatment recommendations. Results: Twenty-two publications were identified for qualitative review. Outcomes of alpha-lipoic acid, intranasal and systemic corticosteroids, minocycline, zinc sulfate, vitamin A, sodium citrate, caroverine, intranasal insulin, theophylline, and Gingko biloba are reported. In addition, outcomes of traditional Chinese acupuncture and olfactory training are reviewed. Conclusion: Several medical and procedural treatments may expedite the return of olfactory function after PVOD. Current evidence supports olfactory training as a first-line intervention. Additional study is required to define specific treatment recommendations and expected outcomes for PVOD in the setting of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Olfaction Disorders/therapy , Smell , Treatment Outcome
9.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1533, 2022 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747195

ABSTRACT

Oropharyngeal sensitivity plays a vital role in the initiation of the swallowing reflex and is thought to decline as part of the aging-process. Taste and smell functions appear to decline with age as well. The aim of our study was to generate data of oral sensitivity in healthy participants for future studies and to analyse age-related changes and their interdependence by measuring oral sensitivity, taste, and smell function. The experiment involved 30 participants younger than and 30 participants older than 60. Sensitivity threshold as a surrogate of oral sensitivity was measured at the anterior faucial pillar by electrical stimulation using commercially available pudendal electrode mounted on a gloved finger. Smell and taste were evaluated using commercially available test kits. Mean sensitivity was lower in young participants compared to older participants (1.9 ± 0.59 mA vs. 2.42 ± 1.03 mA; p = 0.021). Young participants also performed better in smell (Score 11.13 ± 0.86 vs 9.3 ± 1.93; p < 0.001) and taste examinations (Score 11.83 ± 1.86 vs 8.53 ± 3.18; p < 0.001). ANCOVA revealed a statistical association between sensitivity and smell (p = 0.08) that was moderated by age (p = 0.044). Electrical threshold testing at the anterior faucial pillar is a simple, safe, and accurate diagnostic measure of oral sensitivity. We detected a decline of oral sensitivity, taste, and smell in older adults.Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03240965. Registered 7th August 2017- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03240965 .


Subject(s)
Smell
10.
Am J Otolaryngol ; 43(2): 103299, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739513

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intranasal theophylline saline irrigation on olfactory recovery in patients with post-viral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD). METHODS: Between May 2019 and April 2020, we conducted a double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of adults with 6-36 months of PVOD. Patients were randomized to nasal theophylline saline irrigation or placebo saline irrigation twice a day for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was the Global Rating of Smell Change. Secondary outcomes were changes in the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) and Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders-Negative Statements (QOD-NS). RESULTS: Twenty-two patients (n = 12, theophylline; n = 10, placebo) completed the study. Slightly more patients in the theophylline group (33%) reported improved smell compared to the placebo group (30%, difference 3.3%, 95% CI -35.6% to 42.3%). The median differences in pre- and post-treatment UPSIT and QOD-NS change between the two groups were 1 (95% CI -3 to 5) and -10 (95% CI -15 to -4), respectively in favor of theophylline. Three patients receiving theophylline and 2 receiving placebo had clinically meaningful improvements on the UPSIT (difference 5%, 95% CI -30% to 40%). There were no adverse events, and serum theophylline levels were undetectable in 10/10 patients. CONCLUSIONS: While safe, there were no clinically meaningful differences in olfactory change between the two groups except for olfaction-related quality of life, which was better with theophylline. The imprecise estimates suggest future trials will need substantially larger sample sizes or treatment modifications, such as increasing the theophylline dose, to observe larger treatment effects.


Subject(s)
Olfaction Disorders , Smell , Adult , Humans , Odorants , Olfaction Disorders/drug therapy , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Quality of Life , Theophylline/therapeutic use
11.
In Vivo ; 36(2): 918-924, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732568

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: Smell and taste disorders are among the most common symptoms of COVID-19. However, the relationship between smell and taste disorders and systemic symptoms is not fully understood in Japan. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Questionnaires were mailed to 105 of 111 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized at our hospital between March and July 2020 in Japan. RESULTS: A total of 74 patients (response rate: 70.5%) completed the survey. Of these, six patients (8.1%) presented with smell disorders only, 16 (21.6%) presented with taste disorders only, and 17 (23.0%) presented with both smell and taste disorders. The mean Visual Analog Scale for smell and taste was 0.5 and 20, respectively, at the time of the most severe symptoms. CONCLUSION: Among COVID-19 patients in Japan, smell and taste disorders are often followed by fever and may not be the first symptoms. Sense of smell is particularly impaired. These symptoms often improve, although they sometimes persist for a long time as sequelae.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Smell , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Taste Disorders/diagnosis , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/etiology
12.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 58(3)2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732119

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cases of post-infectious olfactory dysfunction (PIOD) has substantially increased. Despite a good recovery rate, olfactory dysfunction (OD) becomes persistent in up to 15% of cases and further research is needed to find new treatment modalities for those patients who have not improved on currently available treatments. Social media has emerged as a potential avenue for patient recruitment, but its role in recruiting patients with smell dysfunction remains unexplored. We conducted a survey using the AbScent Facebook page to evaluate the feasibility of using this platform for future studies on smell dysfunction. Materials and Methods: Between 26 October and 4 November 2021, we conducted an online survey to evaluate propensity of patients with PIOD who would be willing to participate in research studies on smell dysfunction. Results: Sixty-five subjects were surveyed with a response rate of 90.7%. The median visual analogue scale (VAS) for sense of smell was 0 at infection and 2 at survey completion. The median length of OD was 1.6 years, and the main cause of OD was SARS-CoV-2 (57.6%). Parosmia was reported in 41 subjects (69.5%) whilst phantosmia in 22 (37.3%). The median length of olfactory training (OT) was 6 months but subjectively effective in 15 subjects (25.4%). Twenty-seven subjects (45.8%) tried other medications to improve olfaction, but only 6 participants (22.2%) reported an improvement. All subjects expressed their propensity to participate in future studies with most of them (38; 64.4%) willing to be enrolled either in medical and surgical studies or to be part of a randomised study design (11; 18.6%). Conclusions: Using the AbScent Facebook platform we successfully selected a population of subjects with persistent and severe OD that have failed to improve on available treatments and are willing to participate in further clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Social Media , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Pandemics , Patient Selection , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell/physiology
15.
Cells ; 11(5)2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725524

ABSTRACT

Among the first clinical symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection is olfactory-gustatory deficit; this continues for weeks and, in some cases, can be persistent. We prospectively evaluated 162 patients affected by COVID-19 using a visual analogue scale (VAS) for nasal and olfactory-gustatory symptoms. Patients were checked after 7, 14, 21, 28, 90, and 180 days. A total of 118 patients (72.8%) reported an olfactory VAS < 7 at baseline (group B), and 44 (27.2%) reported anosmia (VAS ≥ 7) (group A) and underwent the Brief Smell Identification Test (B-SIT) and Burghart Taste Strips (BTS) to quantify the deficit objectively and repeated the tests to confirm the sense recovery. Group A patients showed B-SIT anosmia and hyposmia in 44.2% and 55.8% of cases, respectively. A total of 88.6% of group A patients reported ageusia with VAS ≥ 7, and BTS confirmed 81.8% of ageusia and 18.2% of hypogeusia. VAS smell recovery was recorded starting from 14 days, with normalization at 28 days. The 28-day B-SIT score showed normosmia in 90.6% of group A patients. The mean time for full recovery (VAS = 0) was shorter in group B (22.9 days) than in group A (31.9 days). Chemosensory deficit is frequently the first symptom in patients with COVID-19, and, in most cases, recovery occurs after four weeks.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste
16.
Rhinology ; 60(2): 128-138, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708611

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Self-reported smell loss is a prominent symptom of COVID-19 infection and a potentially useful clinical tool for remote pre-screening of this disease. However, pre-existing chemosensory dysfunction with obesity may diminish the usefulness of self-reported smell loss in this vulnerable group. Here we aim to compare COVID-19 related chemosensory alterations in participants with and without obesity and determine if self-reported smell loss is predictive of lab-based COVID-19 diagnosis in both groups in the context of restrictive clinical data collection. SUBJECTS/METHODS: In this secondary analysis of a cross-sectional global dataset, we compared self-reported chemosensory ability in participants with a respiratory illness reporting a positive (C19+; n = 5156) or a negative (C19-; n = 659) COVID-19 laboratory test outcome, who also self-reported to have obesity (C19+; n = 433, C19-; n = 86) or not. RESULTS: Participants with obesity and without obesity reported a similar decline in smell, taste, and chemesthesis during illness. In C19+ participants with obesity, we observed a greater relative prevalence of non-chemosensory symptoms, including respiratory and GI symptoms. Critically, we found that the model previously proposed also predicts C19+ diagnosis in participants with obesity. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that COVID-19 respondents with obesity experience a similar self-reported chemosensory loss as those without obesity. In both groups self-reported chemosensory symptoms are similarly predictive of COVID-19 infection, thus highlighting the potential of collecting self-report of symptoms and comorbidities remotely when clinical observations are restrictive.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Obesity/complications , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Smell , Taste Disorders/diagnosis , Taste Disorders/etiology
17.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(3): 1042-1048, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708605

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Alterations of the olfactory function in patients affected by COVID-19 often have an early onset and a variable duration ranging from a few weeks to months. The aim of this study was to evaluate olfactory dysfunction persistence after recovery from COVID-19, and potential related clinical-demographic conditions. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 76 patients recovered from COVID-19 from at least 20 days with olfactory dysfunction during the infection were included in the study. For the subjective evaluation of olfactory function, a visual analogic scale (VAS) was used. The objective evaluation was performed with the use of the Sniffin' Sticks test. RESULTS: Objective assessment of olfactory function revealed that 48 (63.16%) patients were found to be normosmic (TDI ≥ 30.5), 26 (34.21%) were hyposmic (TDI from 30.5 to 16.5) and two (2.63%) were anosmic (TDI ≤ 16.5) at the time of the evaluation. These results did not show a significant difference between subjective and objective tests (p = 0.45). Most patients recovered their sense of smell within the first two months after recovery while a portion (22.2%) still experienced olfactory alterations 4-6 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients who had not recovered their sense of smell had a significantly longer period of SARS-CoV-2 positivity compared to patients that fully recovered (36.07 ± 7.78 days vs. 29 ± 7.89 days; p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the duration of the infection negatively correlates with the recovery of olfactory function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Anosmia/epidemiology , Anosmia/etiology , Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Prospective Studies , Recovery of Function , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Young Adult
18.
Laryngoscope ; 132(5): 1082-1087, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705743

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Gustatory function during COVID-19 is self-reported by around 50% of patients. However, only a few studies assessed gustation using psychophysical testing during acute infection. The objective of this study is to test gustatory function on threshold tests in the very first days of COVID-19. METHODS: Psychophysical testing consisted of validated and blinded tests for olfaction (NHANES Pocket Smell Test) and gustation (Taste Strips Test). These test kits were sent to home-quarantined patients and self-administered using a detailed instruction sheet. RESULTS: A total of 51 patients were included in this study. Testing was performed 6.5 ± 2.7 days after sampling of respiratory swabs. At this time 37% of patients stated to currently experience a gustatory impairment. The mean Taste Strips score was 10.0 ± 3.4 with 28% scoring in the range of hypogeusia. Interestingly, no significant difference in the results of gustatory testing could be observed between the group with subjectively preserved gustation and the group with self-rated taste impairment. CONCLUSION: During the very first days of COVID-19, psychophysical gustatory testing revealed hypogeusia in 28%. This is far lower than patients' self-reports. Different from previous studies, we did not find clear evidence for an impairment of only certain taste qualities. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 132:1082-1087, 2022.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , COVID-19/diagnosis , Dysgeusia , Humans , Nutrition Surveys , Smell , Taste , Taste Disorders/diagnosis , Taste Disorders/etiology
19.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262631, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690736

ABSTRACT

There is an increasing need for rapid, reliable, non-invasive, and inexpensive mass testing methods as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues. Detection dogs could be a possible solution to identify individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2. Previous studies have shown that dogs can detect SARS-CoV-2 on sweat samples. This study aims to establish the dogs' sensitivity (true positive rate) which measures the proportion of people with COVID-19 that are correctly identified, and specificity (true negative rate) which measures the proportion of people without COVID-19 that are correctly identified. Seven search and rescue dogs were tested using a total of 218 axillary sweat samples (62 positive and 156 negative) in olfaction cones following a randomised and double-blind protocol. Sensitivity ranged from 87% to 94%, and specificity ranged from 78% to 92%, with four dogs over 90%. These results were used to calculate the positive predictive value and negative predictive value for each dog for different infection probabilities (how likely it is for an individual to be SARS-CoV-2 positive), ranging from 10-50%. These results were compared with a reference diagnostic tool which has 95% specificity and sensitivity. Negative predictive values for six dogs ranged from ≥98% at 10% infection probability to ≥88% at 50% infection probability compared with the reference tool which ranged from 99% to 95%. Positive predictive values ranged from ≥40% at 10% infection probability to ≥80% at 50% infection probability compared with the reference tool which ranged from 68% to 95%. This study confirms previous results, suggesting that dogs could play an important role in mass-testing situations. Future challenges include optimal training methods and standardisation for large numbers of detection dogs and infrastructure supporting their deployment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Smell/physiology , Sweat/virology , Animals , Dogs , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Sensitivity and Specificity
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