Dogs can sniff out hospital
superbugs, researchers suggest.
Trained sniffer dogs can smell Clostridium difficile in the air surrounding a patient’s bed with a high degree of accuracy, a study found.
They can also smell the infection in stool samples. The Dutch researchers suggest that trained animals could screen hospital wards to prevent C diff outbreaks.
They trained a two-year-old male beagle called Cliff to identify the infection.
After two months of training, Cliff’s detection abilities were tested on 50 stool samples from infected patients and 50 normal samples. He correctly identified all 50 positive samples and 47 out of 50 negative samples.
He was also tested in a hospital setting – and identified 25 out of 30 infected patients and 265 out of 270 patients who did not carry the infection.