Despite the promising results from the study, don’t expect hospitals and testing laboratories to drop the nasal and throat swab, in favor of a urine sample test any time soon. This is because the “dog test” is still far from being ready for practical applications.
While the dogs involved in the study identified the COVID-19 positive samples with stunning accuracy, they were only able to do so on the samples they were trained with. When completely new samples were used, the dogs did not distinguish between positive and negative samples.
In addition, the dogs had trouble with samples from a patient who had just recovered from the virus. Despite the patient having tested negative, the dogs kept identifying the sample as a positive.
The researchers report that in order for the “dog test” to become applicable in real world situations, they will have to conduct more tests and procure more diverse samples. Actually, Otto reported that they were in the process of collecting hundreds of samples for use in future studies.
With time and more tests, however, the researchers hope that they will perfect the “dog test” and make it a viable method for testing for SARS-CoV-2.