Lung infection identified using 'breath-print'
Published: 11th Jan 2013 01:41:05
Identifying the "smell" of different types of lung bacteria could lead to a simple breath test to diagnose infections, a study on mice, in the Journal of Breath Research, suggests.
Breath analysis could reduce lung infection diagnosis times from weeks to minutes, the Vermont researchers said.
Scientists have already researched breath tests to diagnose asthma and cancer.
An expert said breath analysis was "an important and emerging field".
Diagnosing bacterial infections traditionally means collecting a sample that is used to grow bacteria in the lab. This bacteria is then tested to classify it and see how it responds to antibiotics, which can take time.
Doctors see breath analysis, in contrast, as a fast and non-invasive method of diagnosing diseases.
Breath analysis is an emerging field and is likely to take off across the board.”
For the study, researchers from the University of Vermont analysed volatile organic compounds (VOCs) given off in exhaled breath by different bacteria as well as different strains of the same bacterium.
They infected mice with two bacteria that are both common in lung infections - Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus - and sampled their breath after 24 hours.
The compounds in their breath were analysed using a technique called secondary electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (SESI-MS), which is capable of detecting extremely small elements of the chemicals present in their breath.
The researchers said they found a "statistically significant" difference between the breath profiles of the mice infected with the bacteria and the mice that were uninfected.
They also said they were able to differentiate between two species of bacteria and two different strains of the same P. aeruginosa bacterium.
But Jane Hill, co-author of the study, from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, said there were still some challenges to overcome with "breath-prints".
"We are now collaborating with colleagues to sample patients in order to demonstrate the strengths, as well as limitations, of breath analysis more comprehensively," she said.
Richard Hubbard, professor of respiratory epidemiology at Nottingham City Hospital and a spokesman for the British Lung Foundation, said breath analysis was already being used to diagnose children with asthma.
"Breath analysis is an emerging field and is likely to take off across the board. It could be a very useful tool for children with cystic fibrosis, for example, as a guide on how to treat them," he said.
At 09:59:11 in EnglandA convicted robber who went missing from an open prison in Suffolk has been arrested in London.
At 09:52:53 in SportPakistan left-arm seamer Junaid Khan will return to Lancashire this season as an overseas limited-overs signing.
At 09:49:39 in BusinessThe UK government borrowed £107.7bn in the financial year to April 2014, lower than the £115.1bn amount it borrowed the previous year.
At 09:48:40 in SportJersey Scottish ended their Jersey Premiership season with a comfortable 6-0 win over third-placed Jersey Wanderers at the Hockey Club.
At 09:47:50 in EnglandGloucestershire County Council is to review the decision to charge elderly and disabled people who use buses at peak times.
At 09:38:55 in ScotlandA Hawick man has appeared in private at Jedburgh Sheriff Court accused of rape.
At 09:38:50 in HeadlinesA senior Egyptian police officer has been killed by a bomb blast in the capital, Cairo, security officials say.
At 09:36:04 in EnglandA fire brigade in Somerset does not have a written emergency plan to deal with flooding, a union has claimed.
At 09:35:24 in SportPlymouth Argyle striker Marvin Morgan has been hospitalised after falling ill at training on Tuesday.
At 09:35:05 in HeadlinesAustralia has said it will not abandon the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, insisting that the cost of the operation is not a concern.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2013. Lung infection identified using 'breath-print' [Online] (Updated 11th Jan 2013)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1474743/Lung-infection-identified-using-039-breath-print-039 [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Legendary rock group Led Zeppelin have released two previously unheard recordings ahead of the reissue of the band's first three albums in June.
The South Western Ambulance Service has "failed to deliver the performance required" in answering weekend calls to the South West NHS 111 number, its chief executive has admitted.
Eight major renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, have been given government approval.
A protest has taken place against plans for an opencast mine in the Rhymney Valley.
A convicted robber who went missing from an open prison in Suffolk has been arrested in London.
A meeting to determine how the internet should be governed gets underway in Sao Paulo, Brazil later.