Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breath may help diagnose infection

22.03.2005


Researchers from Johns Hopkins University are developing a novel method of testing exhaled breath to detect infection rapidly after potential exposure to a biological warfare agent. They report their findings today at the 2005 ASM Biodefense Research Meeting.



"We want to have a tool that can help in the emergency room or first responders to triage on site so that people who are infected can get treatment first," says Joany Jackman, a researcher on the project. "It’s not so hard to sample breath from many people very quickly as it is to draw blood."

When exposed to disease causing organisms, cells in the body release proteins, called cytokines, to help the immune cells identify and fight the infection. Jackman and her colleagues theorized that cytokines might work their way up through the tissue until eventually they would be exhaled through water vapor in the breath, and could be captured and identified.


"Old medical texts, in the days long before sophisticated diagnostics, would recommend that a doctor check a patient by checking his or her breath, so we knew there must be something to it," says Jackman.

In previous studies, Jackman and her colleagues exposed pigs to different infectious agents and collected breath samples, which they condensed and ran through a mass spectrometer to test for cytokines and other proteins. They were able to detect a strong surge in cytokines in exhaled breath in as little as an hour, long before any visible symptoms appeared.

"However for this technology to be an effective diagnostic, immune markers which appear as a result of exposure to agents should be absent in uninfected populations," says Jackman.

To determine whether the cytokine levels could be differentiated from a healthy population, Jackman and co-investigator Nate Boggs purchased exhaled breath samples from swine housed at a commercial pig farm and analyzed the condensates.

"In all animals, immune markers of infection were at or below the limit of detection, indicating that baseline levels of immune markers in uninfected and apparently healthy populations could be expected to be low or undetectable," says Boggs.

Now that they have shown the concept of exhaled breath diagnostics to be viable, the next step is to move into human testing. Having determined in earlier studies that the early responses of cells to infection vary based on infectious agent, they hope to create cytokine profiles that will help identify specific diseases. They are also working on redesigning the breath collector with an eye towards getting it approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asmusa.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>