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Jenna's Follow Up with UCDavis Magazine

Alumna Further Studies COVID-19 Detection Dogs by Jocelyn Anderson | Apr 18, 2022 | Animal Science, Discoveries, Technology

Dogs again have shown that they could be powerful tools in COVID-19 science. Jenna Gadberry ’03, a contract research scientist with the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center, is part of a team testing how well dogs can detect COVID-19. UC Davis Magazine reported on her work in 2020, and now the project has completed phase two.

The dogs are trained to respond to the odors of COVID-19, the metabolites produced by someone who has the virus — down to parts per trillion. While phase one successfully showed that dogs could detect COVID-19 in clinical samples of saliva and urine, phase two explored odors that could be taken off a person noninvasively — sweat. (Phase one was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.)

Jenna Gadberry has an extensive background in chemical and biological defense. (Courtesy)

Through a partnership with University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Vet Working Dog Center, DEVCOM CBC received T-shirts worn overnight by patients who had tested positive or negative for COVID-19. The dogs were trained on the samples and tested in November 2021. “The c