Giant Rats To Sniff Out Tuberculosis

Published: Dec 17, 2003

Giant rats in Sub-Saharan Africa are being trained to sniff out tuberculosis in humans. The rats have already been successfully used to detect land mines by their odour. Preliminary tests suggest the rats could test as many as 150 saliva samples for TB in just 30 minutes. By contrast, human technicians using a microscope can test only 20 samples a day. The World Bank has now provided $165,000 for a full study of the rats' diagnostic potential.

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