Dogs detect Malaria at the smell of socks


It sounds a bit like in the TV show “Wetten, dass..?”: Can sniff out a dog on the basis of worn socks, and Malaria? According to a British study this is the case. The method could make school.

Sally and Lexi have smelled many socks. The two Malaria-sniffing dogs have learned to be able to Malaria to smell good. To do this, you have to practise, practise and practise once again.

The first sock, the Sally is passing by, smells just after the sock, the second and the third also. But the fourth sock smells different. The Labrador lady stops for a second, sniffs again, and is confident that This sock smells like Malaria parasites. And she’s right. She has done her Job as a Medical detection dog is good, and there is a reward.

More: World’s biggest vaccination campaign against Malaria start in Africa

Watch the Video 00:40

Malaria-Dog Sally

The olfactory functions of dogs is 60 Times greater than that of the people. Up to 300 million olfactory cells. Trained dogs can warn diabetics against impending hypoglycemia and epileptic before a seizure. If someone has cancer, detect it in the air, breathe out the one. Sally and Lexi can detect the body odor of a person, whether he has Malaria parasites in the body. The disease is in Africa continues to be a major Problem.

The socks test to the Gambia

Around 600 children from the Gambia at the age of five to ten years participated in a study at the University in the English Durham. Professor Steven Lindsay has guided them: “We have visited four schools at the end of the rainy season. Then there are the majority of Malaria cases. We have taken all of these school children blood samples. In addition, we have given you nylon stockings. You should wear overnight,” explains Lindsay. The very personal smell of each and every child has to pass on to the stockings.

  • Body odor-mosquito-trap against Malaria

    The Mosquito Trap

    This is how it looks: The case has a hood-shaped lid. From the inside out, you emitted pheromones. She is suspended in the vicinity of houses.

  • Body odor-mosquito-trap against Malaria

    Killing without the use of pesticides

    Gnats that have fallen into the trap, no longer come out. You die on “eco-friendly” way.

  • Body odor-mosquito-trap against Malaria

    Green electricity for Mosquito control

    In order to operate the mosquito-vacuum cleaner – a fan that sucks in the mosquitoes and centrifuged, the case of energy. Comes from a solar cell on the roof. The trap is also suitable for places which are not connected to the network.

  • Body odor-mosquito-trap against Malaria

    Desirable Side Effect

    So the mosquito trap has also other Benefits for residents. For the first time, there is electricity in the house, in order to operate such as a lamp or the mobile phone recharge.

The smell of nylon stockings

The researchers have sent the worn stockings vacuum-Packed to England. There they were kept, the smell experts nose. The two dogs that were involved in the Experiment, have traced 70 per cent of infected children on the basis of the socks that you have worn. “It was the first study that has dealt with Malaria parasites,” explains Lindsay.

The Malaria-positive from Malaria-negative socks distinguish, were investigated in the blood samples and the corresponding socks associated with it. On the basis of blood samples, the scientists also noted that 30 of the 175 children in the Test, with Plasmodium falciparum were found to be infected, so a Malaria pathogen.

Without a blood test, and only with your fine Riechorganen recognized Sally and Lexi in the parasite infections in a very early stage. In the case of any of the children, the disease had broken out, but the parasites, the infectious disease, were in the body, and was reflected in the socks. The sooner Malaria is detected, the better the prognosis is, and the sooner Doctors administer medication.

More: So you can protect yourself from Malaria

The Golden Retriever Lexi, the Detection of Malaria parasites, rather than the game

For the dogs it is a game

“We have established a set of five glass containers, and small stripes on the stockings, put into it,” explains Lindsay. The dogs are gone to the series of containers along, and if in one of the containers was the sock of an infected child, then the dog has discovered the. “All in all, the results were very good. They were even better than the rapid tests, which we do normally in African hospitals,” adds Lindsay.

To take on good luck with the whole population of blood samples, in order to come to a possible Malaria infection on the track is impossible. The situation is different when working with the animal Smell-specialists. “The method with the dogs is non-invasive and takes place without any physical contact. The dogs need not to touch,” says Lindsay. The diagnosis does not take place effectively at a distance, any equipment are needed.

Lindsay is convinced that the use of sniffer dogs could develop a quick and straightforward method to identify Malaria in people who show no symptoms, but still highly contagious.

Similar to drug-sniffing dogs, the four-legged Malaria could be used-experts, for example, at airports. As an example, Lindsay called South Africa. “Malaria control in South Africa is quite good. Nevertheless, there are always thousands of cases. Workers from neighboring regions could bring parasites into the country. These people are not ill maybe once, but they carry dangerous parasites and spread them.”

The four-legged sniffers may help, the risk of a little einzudämpfen. In the future, you can sniff this is certainly also on other items of clothing, not just worn socks.

More: Is Malaria, with Gene Drive to completely eradicate?

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    A mosquito beats

    For sure, the most dangerous animal in Africa is the mosquito, which is about six mm small Anopheles: it transmits Malaria. This infectious disease around half a Million people die each year. Malaria sufferers suffer from a high recurrent fever, chills, and cramps. Especially in the case of small children, the disease can quickly lead to death.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    It all begins in the mosquito

    The Anopheles mosquito bites an infected human, the malaria pathogens; the next stitch, you pass it to some other people. Researchers have highlighted the causative agent here in the picture with a green glowing protein. As the green glow reveals, multiply the parasite in the gut of the mosquito and accumulate in their salivary glands.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Pathogens for the research crops

    The biological Name of the Malarierregers is Plasmodium. To investigate, remove, researchers infected Anopheles mosquitoes, the salivary glands and isolate the parasites. Because in the saliva of the mosquito, the infectious Form of the parasite accumulates experts call this Form of sporozoites. To the right in the image, the mosquito is seen, in the middle of the extracted salivary glands.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Mosquito – Human – Mosquito

    In fact, the human is the intermediate host of the malaria parasite, definitive host is the mosquito. In the us, the pathogen asexually reproduces real: first in the liver then in red blood cells. A part of the parasites is, after all, female and male cells. These are taken up by a mosquito and reproduce into her sex. The circle is complete.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Malaria run in a circle

    Since the malaria sporozoites are curved, move in a circle, when researchers apply them, as here, on a piece of glass with liquid. The parasites are coloured yellow, their trajectory is in blue. The pathogens are fast: For a circle you only need about 30 seconds. In their hosts they are distracted by the obstacles of the circle and then run straight.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Twelve days between the stab and the outbreak of the disease

    In the human malaria pathogen invades for a few days in the liver. Meanwhile, the Affected person won’t notice. It is only when the parasite has converted in the liver to the small grape-shaped merozoites, which leave the body and the blood cells are affected, the Patient feels sick.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Malaria pathogens in the blood

    The parasites need one to three days to multiply in the red blood cells. Then the blood to disintegrate the cells and release of many Mature malaria pathogens and toxic substances from the metabolism of the parasites. The Consequence Is Fever. Under the microscope the disease is diagnose after Staining to The purple-dyed exciter to fall in the blood smear immediately.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Around the Equator

    Malaria is a typical tropical disease: it occurs where it is hot and humid. Some scientists had feared that the Malaria will spread due to climate change. Recent studies come to a different conclusion: in fact, your distribution area, taking continuously, as more and more swamps were drained.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Mosquito Nets = Life Saver

    The best remedy against Malaria is to be not bitten by a mosquito. While Repellents – Mosquito repellents to apply Cream and of course mosquito nets, the fine mesh keep mosquitoes help. To sleep under a mosquito net can save lives!

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Double Protection

    Researchers have developed a mosquito net that is intended to protect especially In the fibers of the nets an insecticide is woven, which is continuously free. The drug kills all of the mosquitoes on the mosquito net.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Poison weapon against Malaria

    Malaria takes the risk out of hand, grab the Affected often to harsh means, and spraying the bulk insect poison, like here in Mumbai, India. Such an insecticide is the substance DDT is effective against mosquitoes, but as part of the “dirty dozen” bad for health and the environment: It is very durable and accumulates in the food chain.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Quick Diagnosis

    Rapid Malaria tests can prove within minutes malaria pathogen in a drop of blood. Here is the “Doctors without borders to examine” a boy in the African state of Mali. His Test is positive. The Boy gets drugs, and two days later, healthy again. Such rapid tests do not work, however, is always reliable.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Race against time

    Medicines to destroy the parasites in the blood, or prevent it from multiplying. However, the pathogens become resistant to the drug – some drugs such as chloroquine do not work anymore in many areas. Also counterfeit Drugs with little active ingredient to promote resistance. The only way out: to develop new medicines.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Way Vaccination?

    A vaccine against Malaria yet. Researchers are working diligently. A pilot study of the vaccine RTS,S could be the promise of success. More accurate you know but in a few years, when the data of the studies. WHO doubts The effectiveness of the Malaria Vaccine was too limited, and the necessary Impfroutine too time-consuming.

  • Malaria – one mosquito bite can kill

    Well bedded against Malaria

    Also with the new vaccine – should it come – it will therefore continue to be: to protect Yourself from mosquito bites is key.

    Author: Brigitte Osterath