Adorable Beagle Diagnoses Deadly Infections By Sniffing YouCliff the beagle can sniff out a dangerous bacterium just by smelling patients–no stool sample or long lab analysis necessary.
By Dan Nosowitz
Posted 12.14.2012 at 2:00 pm
Cliff The Dog via BMJ
In hospitals, a nasty little bacterium called Clostridium difficile causes problems for patients–it’s highly infectious and can cause diarrhea among people who are already sick. Diagnosing whether a patient has C. diff, as it’s called, requires a stool sample, which can take days to analyze. So scientists at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam trained a beagle named Cliff to sniff out the nasty bacterium. The craziest part? Cliff doesn’t need to sniff stool samples–he can tell just by walking up to a patient as the patient lies in bed.