A new invention, an E-nose can now sniff the pooches.
Visceral leishmaniasis, a rare disease spread by the parasite called a sand fly that causes fever, enlarged organs, and weight loss.
In dogs, skin problems, weight loss, and diarrhea are common due to this parasite.
The number of affected cases has increased manifold in Brazil causing hundreds and hundreds of casualties.
At present, health authorities try a two-part, time-consuming test to pinpoint affected dogs so that the parasite population can be brought under control.
To check the efficiency of an “eNose”, scientists collected hair and blood samples from a dozen of dogs from infected dogs.
Hairs belonging to infected dogs smells quite odd from the samples collected from uninfected dogs.
This handheld device consists of sensors that pass unique electrical signals based on the compositions of odors.
The samples were dumped in a water-filled bags and then air samples were blown. The eNose offered a success rate of 95% in picking up leishmaniasis infections.
Researchers note that customized eNoses are to be made before this technique becomes widespread.
They believe it can detect human infections in the future.
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