Microbiological processes applied to the canine units of biodetection
The author of the article Dr. Lluís Pons Anglada, owner of the III Josep Séculi Brillas award, second place
ABSTRACT: The use of canine work units (*CW) to detect the presence of microorganisms is a recent specialty within the scope of the detection and safety canine units. One of the main tools for the training of a dog in this specialty is a source of smell that comes from the microorganism that is to be detected.
During the realization of this doctoral thesis, following the guidelines of the scientific method, a standard protocol for the production of odorous samples of fungi and working with different model microorganisms has been established. The techniques that have been used, based on scientific publications and methods developed previously, allow to obtain a final solution that contains as many odorous components as possible while being innocuous both for the dog and for the instructor or trainer.
Once the method for obtaining the samples has been defined and taking advantage of the characteristics of the model microorganisms, a field work program has been developed to determine if these fungi can be detected by properly trained dogs and what their detection limit is.
Finally, the feasibility of implementing the different biodetection *CW in different areas of the agricultural sector is determined to contribute to a more sustainable and ecological agricultural production.
The proposed hypotheses in this investigation are:
– H0: Dogs are able to detect the presence of filamentous fungi through smell.
– H1: Dogs are not able to detect the presence of filamentous fungi through smell.
– H0: It is possible to extract the profile of volatile organic compounds from a fungus and use them to train a dog to detect the presence of fungus.
– H1: It is not possible to extract the profile of volatile organic compounds from a fungus and use them to train a dog to detect the presence of fungus.
To solve the previous hypotheses, the proposed objectives are divided into main and secondary objectives:
Regarding the obtaining microbiological origin samples for the specific training of biodetection canine units
- Determine the best method for obtaining samples.
- Establish a generic production protocol
- Develop a generic work program to demonstrate that mycelial fungi are detectable by canine smell.
• Publish and disseminate the results.
• Determine the possible future projection in the field of agriculture.
1. Dogs, properly trained, can detect and locate mycelial fungi in different environments, offering a way of economic work, reliable, easy to implement and with a wide range of application possibilities, particularly in the agricultural sector.
2. Volatile organic compounds profile emitted by a fungus species can be extracted using the techniques developed in this thesis and the resulting samples are adapted to the current way of working with detection dogs. These samples are in no case dangerous for the dog, the trainer or for the environment.
3. The Canine Units of fungal detection applied to the agricultural sector are useful for the early detection of infectious diseases, both in pre-harvest and post-harvest, and in the determination of the effectiveness of inoculation of biofertilizers. They present important advantages respect to the time invested in the processing of samples and diagnosis, as well as allow it to perform focused treatments with less economic investment, being easily combined with the rest of current methods, both preventive and curative or palliative.
* Article published in the annual journal of the Academy of Veterinary Sciences of Catalonia