Breath Research Group
We are a small laboratory working in the area of breath research.
Our goal is to design non-invasive breath tests for the detection of infectious lung pathogens. Currently our group is working on the development of three breath tests to detect Aspergillus fumigatus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections in the lung.
When micro-organisms grow they release volatile compound, these “volatiles” are normally non-specific, common to many species and therefore of very little value for diagnostic purposes. However, some volatiles are limited to a particular micro-organism becoming a useful “specific” biomarker.
It is these specific volatile biomarkers that can help with the rapid detection and identification of micro-organisms. Central to this approach is the concept that the specificity of a successful breath test will depend on detection of organism specific volatiles that are not part of the host response.
The non-invasive nature of breath sampling means that it can be repeated and performed by small children with ease and thus may be particularly applicable to paediatric populations with minimal social impact.