Dogs can detect malaria by sniffing human socks

According to a new research by Durham University in United Kingdom, dogs have demonstrated an ability to identify a parasitic infection. Sniffer dogs could be trained to stop the spread of malaria across borders and help the diagnosed individuals receive earlier treatment.

This could be a potentially non-invasive way of screening malaria. Confirmation of the disease would then be made by taking a finger-prick sample of blood using a rapid diagnostic test. Researchers from The Gambia, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, used nylon socks to collect foot odour samples from kids ages 5-14. The dogs could sniff out the malaria parasite with an accuracy of 70%. The dogs were also able to identify 90 per cent of the samples without the parasites.

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