Testing novel facial recognition technology to identify dogs during vaccination campaigns

Czupryna, A. M. , Estepho, M., Lugelo, A., Bigambo, M., Sambo, M., Changalucha, J. , Lushasi, K. S., Rooyakkers, P., Hampson, K. and Lankester, F. (2023) Testing novel facial recognition technology to identify dogs during vaccination campaigns. Scientific Reports, 13, 22025. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-49522-2) (PMID:38086911) (PMCID:PMC10716125)

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A lack of methods to identify individual animals can be a barrier to zoonoses control. We developed and field-tested facial recognition technology for a mobile phone application to identify dogs, which we used to assess vaccination coverage against rabies in rural Tanzania. Dogs were vaccinated, registered using the application, and microchipped. During subsequent household visits to validate vaccination, dogs were registered using the application and their vaccination status determined by operators using the application to classify dogs as vaccinated (matched) or unvaccinated (unmatched), with microchips validating classifications. From 534 classified dogs (251 vaccinated, 283 unvaccinated), the application specificity was 98.9% and sensitivity 76.2%, with positive and negative predictive values of 98.4% and 82.8% respectively. The facial recognition algorithm correctly matched 249 (99.2%) vaccinated and microchipped dogs (true positives) and failed to match two (0.8%) vaccinated dogs (false negatives). Operators correctly identified 186 (74.1%) vaccinated dogs (true positives), and 280 (98.9%) unvaccinated dogs (true negatives), but incorrectly classified 58 (23.1%) vaccinated dogs as unmatched (false negatives). Reduced application sensitivity resulted from poor quality photos and light-associated color distortion. With development and operator training, this technology has potential to be a useful tool to identify dogs and support research and intervention programs.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Tis study was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services of the National Institutes of Health [R01AI141712], by Wellcome [207569/Z/17/Z] and by MSD Animal Health.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sambo, Dr Maganga and Czupryna, Dr Anna and Lankester, Dr Felix and Lugelo, Dr Ahmed and Hampson, Professor Katie and changalucha, Mr joel
Authors: Czupryna, A. M., Estepho, M., Lugelo, A., Bigambo, M., Sambo, M., Changalucha, J., Lushasi, K. S., Rooyakkers, P., Hampson, K., and Lankester, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright: © The Author(s) 2023
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 13: 22025
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
301620The Science of Rabies EliminationKatie HampsonWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)207569/Z/17/ZInstitute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine