Dogs can sniff out citrus greening disease

A Study finds that using dogs to survey for citrus greening disease is more accurate and efficient than current methods.

The Springer spaniels were one of the breeds identified as best for sniffing out the disease.

Huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, is a bacterial disease of citrus plants cause by Candidatus Liberibacter spp. It is one of the most severe pandemics of horticultural crops in modern times as there is a complete lack of resistance or tolerance throughout the Citrus genus.

Throughout history, dogs have been valued not only for their companionship and loyalty, but also for their utility, and in many cases this usefulness is driven by their nose. Dogs are used to search for drugs, bombs and people, and are used in medicine for their ability to sense the volatile organic compounds associated with cancer or diabetes-related events.

New uses for ‘sniffer dogs’ are tested regularly, and many demonstrate high levels of success. With huanglongbing threatening the citrus industry across the world, researchers from the US Department of Agriculture have investigated the potential of dogs as detectors of the disease, with the results published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this month.

Read more on this amazing discovery about one of humans long-standing companions: Dogs can sniff out huanglongbing months before symptoms appear (Website Link)