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Scent dogs in detection of COVID-19: triple-blinded randomised trial and operational real-life screening in airport setting

Overview of attention for article published in BMJ Global Health Journal, May 2022
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#5 of 2,287)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
155 news outlets
blogs
4 blogs
twitter
92 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page
reddit
1 Redditor

Readers on

mendeley
8 Mendeley
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Title
Scent dogs in detection of COVID-19: triple-blinded randomised trial and operational real-life screening in airport setting
Published in
BMJ Global Health Journal, May 2022
DOI 10.1136/bmjgh-2021-008024
Pubmed ID
Authors

Anu Kantele, Juuso Paajanen, Soile Turunen, Sari H Pakkanen, Anu Patjas, Laura Itkonen, Elina Heiskanen, Maija Lappalainen, Loic Desquilbet, Olli Vapalahti, Anna Hielm-Björkman

Abstract

To estimate scent dogs' diagnostic accuracy in identification of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 in comparison with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We conducted a randomised triple-blinded validation trial, and a real-life study at the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, Finland. Four dogs were trained to detect COVID-19 using skin swabs from individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR. Our controlled triple-blinded validation study comprised four identical sets of 420 parallel samples (from 114 individuals tested positive and 306 negative by RT-PCR), randomly presented to each dog over seven trial sessions. In a real-life setting the dogs screened skin swabs from 303 incoming passengers all concomitantly examined by nasal swab SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. Our main outcomes were variables of diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value) for scent dog identification in comparison with RT-PCR. Our validation experiments had an overall accuracy of 92% (95% CI 90% to 93%), a sensitivity of 92% (95% CI 89% to 94%) and a specificity of 91% (95% CI 89% to 93%) compared with RT-PCR. For our dogs, trained using the wild-type virus, performance was less accurate for the alpha variant (89% for confirmed wild-type vs 36% for alpha variant, OR 14.0, 95% CI 4.5 to 43.4). In the real-life setting, scent detection and RT-PCR matched 98.7% of the negative swabs. Scant airport prevalence (0.47%) did not allow sensitivity testing; our only SARS-CoV-2 positive swab was not identified (alpha variant). However, ad hoc analysis including predefined positive spike samples showed a total accuracy of 98% (95% CI 97% to 99%). This large randomised controlled triple-blinded validation study with a precalculated sample size conducted at an international airport showed that trained scent dogs screen airport passenger samples with high accuracy. One of our findings highlights the importance of continuous retraining as new variants emerge. Using scent dogs may present a valuable approach for high-throughput, rapid screening of large numbers of people.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 92 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 8 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 8 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 2 25%
Researcher 1 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 1 13%
Unknown 4 50%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 1 13%
Unspecified 1 13%
Chemistry 1 13%
Unknown 5 63%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1248. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 27 June 2022.
All research outputs
#7,787
of 21,422,252 outputs
Outputs from BMJ Global Health Journal
#5
of 2,287 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#238
of 284,209 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMJ Global Health Journal
#2
of 74 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,422,252 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,287 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 42.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 284,209 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 74 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.