Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Who let the dogs out ? The medical laboratory, that's who !

Dogs have an olfactory capacity that is more than 100 times that of humans, and that stool from patients with Clostridium difficile infection has a unique odor due to P-cresol, a phenolic compound fermented by the bacteria.
Some nurses, laboratory technicians, and physicians have been able to make a diagnosis of C. difficile infection on the basis of this odor.
The study by physicians in The Netherlands used a Beagle dog trained to recognize the unique odor of stool containing C. difficile toxin. Testing of stool samples showed recognition of positive tests in 30/30 (100% sensitivity) and negative tests in 270/270 (100% specificity).
These results are superior to all existing tests for C. difficile infection.
Comments: We NEVER get a screening test with 100 % sensitivity & 100 % specificity, so if we can train dogs right, this is the way to go!!

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