Recently, she’s worked alongside Professors James Logan at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Steve Lindsay of the department of biosciences at Durham University, among others, on a successful project to train dogs to identify malaria.
When Medical Detection Dogs was tasked with finding out whether malaria had a distinctive smell, Asher was assigned to the project.“If a dog comes up to something they like the odour of, they sniff really hard and rapidly, don’t they?” explains Guest.
Around the world, dogs like Shugga are training to detect diseases ranging from Parkinson’s disease and cancer to malaria, according to Maria Goodavage, author of “Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine.”.
Man’s best friends have long been put to work, and a recent medical study has shown hounds can be trained to smell malaria in children. It means that we can tick off malaria from the list of things that dogs can identify with the 220m olfactory receptors in their noses.