Breath Metabolites to Diagnose Infection
Clin Chem. 2021 Dec 30;68(1):43-51. doi: 10.1093/clinchem/hvab218.
BACKGROUND: Starkly highlighted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, infectious diseases continue to have an outsized impact on human health worldwide. Diagnostic testing for infection can be challenging due to resource limitations, time constraints, or shortcomings in the accuracy of existing diagnostics. Rapid, simple diagnostics are highly desirable. There is increasing interest in the development of diagnostics that use exhaled breath analysis as a convenient and safe diagnostic method, as breath sampling is noninvasive, secure, and easy to perform. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in exhaled breath reflect the fingerprint of the underlying metabolic and biophysical processes during disease.
CONTENT: In this review, we overview the major biomarkers present in exhaled breath in infectious diseases. We outline the promising recent advances in breath-based diagnosis of respiratory infections, including those caused by influenza virus, SARS-CoV-2, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Aspergillus fumigatus. In addition, we review the current landscape of diagnosis of 2 other globally important infections: Helicobacter pylori gastrointestinal infection and malaria.
SUMMARY: Characteristic and reproducible breath VOCs are associated with several infectious diseases, suggesting breath analysis as a promising strategy for diagnostic development. Ongoing challenges include poor standardization of breath collection and analysis and lack of validation studies. Further research is required to expand the applicability of breath analysis to clinical settings.
PMID:34969107 | DOI:10.1093/clinchem/hvab218