Highly Trained Canines Identify New Viral Antigens in Fight Against COVID-19

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Bio Detection K9 (BDK9), the global leader in canine COVID-19 detection, is thrilled to share that their team of qualified canines can now detect the Delta variant, which currently accounts for over 90% of new SARS-COV2 infections in the United States. In addition to being highly transmissible, the Delta variant is also known to result in delayed detection using traditional COVID tests. After eight weeks of training and an additional two months of testing, Bio Detection K9 announced their dogs can detect SARS-COV2 with 97-99% accuracy.

The Bio Detection K9 training techniques developed by Chief Research Scientist Dr. William Schneider teach the canines to directly detect the virus itself, not the host response generated by sick human beings. Using proprietary technology, the highly skilled canines can detect extremely subtle amounts of viral antigens given off by infected individuals. By simply sniffing a hand, their sensitive nostrils can indicate the presence of COVID-19 virus shed through the skin within a matter of seconds. This new screening technique provides an additional layer of screening increasing safety measures against COVID-19 and other pathogens. 

To train against these significant new threats, Bio Detection K9 synthesized antigens that represent the Beta, Gamma and Delta variants. In testing the ability of their COVID-19 detector canines, the Bio Detection dogs were equally effective at detecting all variants, including the Delta variant. 

“The success of these trials was something we predicted based on the relatedness of the variants,” said Dr. William Schneider, Chief Research Scientist of Bio-Detection K9. “However, because of the importance of newer variants we needed to make absolutely sure our canines would be successful, and we were completely satisfied.” Dr. Schneider reported that all 21 canines tested showed no loss of accuracy. Based on this data, Bio-Detection K9 is confident their COVID-19 detector canines will be able to detect any additional SARS-COV2 variants like Omicron and are already working quickly to start trials on this strain.

Bio-Detection K9 is responsible for the training of the canines. They have been in the business of using canines to detect viruses, bacteria, and fungus for over a decade in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government agencies. Bio Detection K9 President Jerry Johnson noted that the company will continuously monitor for reports of new variants, and use the proprietary methods developed by BDK9 to test the ability of the COVID detector canines to find variants as they arise. Looking ahead they plan to address upcoming biologic and medical challenges in a sustainable fashion, revolutionizing the way the world views a canine’s ability to detect, diagnose and prevent health concerns on a global scale.