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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

Bees trained for coronachecks

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Dutch Josh View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 03 2021 at 1:00pm

[url]https://www.wur.nl/en/news-wur/Show/Training-bees-to-smell-the-coronavirus.htm[/url] or https://www.wur.nl/en/news-wur/Show/Training-bees-to-smell-the-coronavirus.htm ;

The bees were trained to detect SARS-CoV-2 infected samples in a Pavlovian conditioning method. Each time the bees were exposed to the scent from an infected sample, they received a sugar water solution reward. The bees extended their tongues to collect the sugar water solution. By repeating this action several times, the bees associated the sugar reward with the scent as the stimulus. With this repeated conditioning, soon enough bees started extending their tongues out for the scent alone, with no reward offered as a follow-up. A trained bee can detect an infected sample within a few seconds.

This research was conducted with more than 150 bees at the Biosafety laboratory of Wageningen Bioveterinary Research with different training setups to determine the most optimum training protocol. The samples used in the first experiments were collected from healthy and SARS-CoV-2 infected minks. In the experiments with the mink-samples, several bees indicated very good results and were able to distinguish the infected samples and those from healthy animals with very low numbers of false positives and false negatives. Similar great results were also achieved in later experiments with human samples as well.   

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
~Albert Einstein
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EdwinSm, View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2021 at 10:39pm

I am not sure I would like that as a testing method....What if I get stung?     


If I remember correctly, Finland employed dogs for this at an airport, but it was discontinued as the cost (mostly the wages of the handler) was too high compared with other testing methods.

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Dutch Josh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2021 at 11:43pm

The bees test (blood)samples not humans...pity they stopped dogs looking for Covid in Finland. Dogs may be usefull for large scale detection...still on its way I guess... 

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
~Albert Einstein
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CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2021 at 12:43am

We have "Africanized" honeybees in Arizona that sometimes swarm and sting humans to death.  

https://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/news/article_7157dadc-e1a7-11ea-a6f5-efb1b5c9bc01.html

Otherwise, I'm all for it!  Interesting bit of insect psychology.

CRS, DrPH
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