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December 17 2012

A New Leash on Infections: Dog that Sniffs Out a Deadly Superbug


Beagles are known as good hunters. So why not send them in search of deadly bacteria?

Thatís what Dutch doctors are hoping to do by training the dogsí famously sensitive sense of smell to sniff out deadly pathogens that plague hospitals and put patients at risk.

Doctors spent two months training a two-year-old beagle named Cliff to learn to lie down or sit whenever he smelled the presence of Clostridium difficile, stubborn bacteria that cause severe, hard-to-treat diarrhea and sometimes life-threatening colitis.

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