Volunteer Information

Provision of collected samples for use in the canine detection of disease

Please take time to read the following information carefully. You can discuss this with anyone you wish. Please feel free to ask us questions if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

The purpose of sample collection is to assist with training Bio Detection Dogs to identify the smell of Covid-19 directly on people through passive search techniques. The information gathered when using these collected samples will be used by Medical Detection dogs for training, maintenance, and research and development purposes. Results obtained from the use of these samples will not contribute to the results of the ongoing Covid-19 Detection study in collaboration with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Arctech Innovations, and Durham University.


What types of clothing can I send as samples?

We will gladly accept any type of clothing, including tops, trousers, jumpers and coats, but please do not send underwear. Where possible, we would prefer to receive non-cotton or mixed synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon to assist with the dogs’ next stage of training.

How many items of clothing can I send?

We would love to receive as many items of clothing from each individual as possible, please just be sure to clearly label them with your name, the date of your fist positive lateral flow or PCR test, the date on which the item has been worn, and approximately how long the item has been worn for

How should I send my clothing?

After you have worn the items you wish to send,  please wrap each item in kitchen foil and put them in a bag. If the item you wish to send is too big to wrap in foil, like a coat, jacket or thick jumper, please put the item in a separate bag and tie to close. All items should be labelled as follows:


Date of First Positive Test:

Date Worn:

Length of Time Worn:

Labels can be affixed to the outside of the foil or bag, or inside the with the packaged clothing.

Samples can be delivered to Medical Detection Dogs in person, or sent by post to:

F.A.O Biodetection Department
Medical Detection Dogs
3 Millfield
Greenway Business Park
Winslow Road
Great Horwood
MK17 0NP

What happens to my clothing?

Once received by Medical Detection Dogs, your clothing will be prepared by our technicians to then be used in training our team of Covid-19 Detection dogs. Samples may be cut into smaller pieces for use in different training scenarios. Samples may be stored for use in future training, but all samples will be destroyed after use. We will not be able to return any items of clothing.

What happens to my personal information?

Any information that may identify you as an individual will be stored electronically on a secure server. The clothing you provide will be assigned a unique, anonymised participant ID number which will then be used to identify your sample, and link it to the information you have provided in reference to your positive Covid-19 tests. The sample details outlined on the sample label will be entered into a secure database for analysis.

Your information will remain confidential at all times. We may share the results obtained from your sample, or any other information gained from your training session, with external collaborators but you will be identified only by the unique code and your identity will remain confidential.

Can you tell me if I have Covid-19?

The purpose of this sample collection exercise is to collect samples from participants who have a current, known, Covid-19 infection confirmed by a lateral flow device or PCR test for training purposes only. This is not a diagnostic service. Results obtained from the use of samples in training will not be communicated to any person outside of Medical Detection Dogs.


Providing a sample will help further our understanding of the canine detection of human disease.

Participation is completely voluntary. By sending an item of clothing for use as a training sample, you consent to Medical Detection Dogs using your clothing, and the accompanying information provided, for training, research, and development purposes, and furthermore that any information gathered about you from your sample may be shared with collaborators (with identifying information removed) but not published. You also consent to Medical Detection Dog’s Data Protection Policy.

You are free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. If you decide to withdraw, your data will be deleted from the Medical Detection Dogs charity database, and your donated samples destroyed.

If you have any questions about the sample collection process, how your sample will be used, or how your personal data will be protected, please contact us using the details below. You are free to withdraw consent at any time.

Call: 01296 655888
Email: [email protected]

Clothing donated as samples cannot be returned. Results from individual participants will not be made available.

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