Dogs identify C.Diff in hospitals

Using a dog’s superior olfactory sensitivity to identify Clostridium difficile in stools and patients: proof of principle study
BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 13 December 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7396

“It is feasible to use a dog to detect Clostridium difficile in stool samples and in patients. The dog’s diagnostic accuracy with stool samples suggests that immediate identification of C difficile is possible. Moreover, our data suggest that the same may be true for the rapid diagnosis of C difficile infection on clinical wards. For the purposes of detection the dog did not need a stool sample or physical contact with patients. It would seem dogs can detect C difficile in the air surrounding patients. In addition, dogs are quick and efficient: patients in a hospital ward can be screened for the presence of C difficile infection in less than 10 minutes.” Read entire study below to find more information on methods and results.

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New Research; how odor is processed

“For most animals, smell is a very, very important thing,” said Harvard Professor Venkatesh Murthy. “If they are in an environment where there’s one overwhelming smell that’s irrelevant, they need to be able to detect a weak smell that may signal danger.” Earlier studies had hinted that the interneurons in the olfactory bulb are the primary target of the feedback signals, but Murthy’s study is the first to prove it.

Read the article here:

Handlers’ beliefs & Drug Dog Performance

Handlers’ Beliefs Affect Explosive- And Drug-Sniffing Dog Performance
02 Feb 2011
Drug- and explosives-sniffing dog/handler teams’ performance is affected by human handlers’ beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues, a study by researchers at UC Davis has found. Continue reading Handlers’ beliefs & Drug Dog Performance

Human ovarian carcinoma detected by dogs

Gyrgy Horvath Department of Oncology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gteborg, Sweden,

Gunvor af Klinteberg J¤rverud Department of Oncology, Swedish Working Dog Club, Kode, Sweden
Sven J¤rverud
Department of Oncology, Swedish Working Dog Club, Kode, Sweden
Istv¡n Horv¡th
Department of Oncology, Hungarian Working Dog Club, Dunaszekcs, Hungary
The high mortality rate associated with ovarian carcinoma is mainly owing to late diagnosis. It is thus essential to develop inexpensive and simple methods for early diagnosis. Papers on canine scent detection of malignancies such as melanoma and bladder, lung, and breast cancer have recently been published in peer-reviewed journals, indicating a new diagnostic tool for malignancies.

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Analysis of uniqueness and persistence of human scent

“The use of canines, Canis lupus var. familiaris, in law enforcement is widely accepted; however, there are few peer-reviewed studies confirming their accuracy and reliability. The use of detector dogs for human-scent lineups has been used in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, and Russia, but has not gained widespread acceptance in the United States, mainly due to the lack of definitive studies demonstrating the reliability of this approach. Published results pertaining to the accuracy of canines used in human-scent lineups will be discussed later in the text.”

Link to article in Forensic Science Communications April 2005 Volume 7 Number 2

K-9 scent discrimination

“This website is a work in progress and is subject to change, but my intention is to first outline the ways in which knowledge about the relations between events is gained. Then explain what discrimination training really involves, what animals are learning during the course of discrimination training, and offer a user friendly, applied science plan for scent discrimination training.” E. Hale

This a a great website for scientific information relating to reinforcement, cause and effect relationships and scent discrimination.