A rapid, non-invasive, cost-effective, analytical device for bacterial or viral infection diagnosis through ultra-high sensitivity breath analysis
Accumulating evidence indicates that the emergence of resistant bacterial strains can be attributed to the injudicious use of antibiotics. Without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and chemotherapy can be compromised. Antibiotics active against gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli are difficult to develop since these bacteria have effective barriers against drugs.
To address this issue, the EU-funded BreathSpec project developed an innovative breath test for the accurate diagnosis of respiratory tract infections. “Our goal was to determine the breath signature of patients who do not require antibiotic prescriptions,″ explains project coordinator Emma Brodrick. The Breathspec® device uses gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry, or GC-IMS, for the identification and quantification of key signature volatiles present in exhaled breath associated with the presence of bacteria. The device allows non-invasive point-of-care analysis while you wait. This provides the clinician with diagnostic results at the time of appointment, which in turn avoids unnecessary antibiotic treatment. “The most important aspect of Breathspec® is that it gives the prescribing clinician the confidence to not prescribe antibiotics,” emphasises Brodrick.
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