Covid: detecting the virus in sweat, the new screening method under development

Published by Caroline J. · Updated on 10 September 2021 at 16h18 · Published on 10 September 2021 at 11h02
After screen-testing Covid-19 in one’s nose, saliva and anus, a new method is being developed in Thailand: sweat test. Here is more on the matter.

Will screen-testing Covid-19 in human sweat grow more common? For now, this testing method is under study and development by Thailand scientists. The latter have even conducted a life-size test in Bangkok. The idea? Placing a swab on one’s armpit and wait for 15 minutes before placing the swab into a glass vial, sterilized with UV rays. Then, collecting and assessing the swab to get results take 30 seconds.

And according to scientist, this testing method is as reliable as a PCR nasal test, and “95% accurate” according to the first tests performed in 2,000 people. “People infected with Covid-19 secrete very distinct chemicals," said Chadin Kulsing from Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.

We used this finding to develop a device to detect the specific odors produced by certain bacteria in the sweat of Covid-19 patients”, he added.

Now, the scientist hopes this Covid-19 test device will be deployed alongside the invincible PCR tests. So far, this process is still at the experimentation stage. But armpit sweat test has another advantage: it is less restrictive and much cheaper than PCR tests as they need to go through a lab to deliver results.

As LCI TV channels said, detecting coronavirus in sweat has been already experimented in the United Kingdom and the United States. And France is also interested in the device since this past late July, in a nursing home in Haut-Rhin, a dog named Pokaa has sniffed sweat samples to find likely Covid cases. And according to the preliminary results, the dog was “100% accurate for symptomatic sick” and “95% for asymptomatic ones”.

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