Ohio state has developed a breath test which is proving to be accurate in identifying Covid-19 in critically ill patients.
Researcher and professor Pelagia-Irene Gouma who developed the test says “This novel breathalyzer technology uses nanosensors to identify and measure specific biomarkers in the breath”,
“This is the first study to demonstrate the use of a nanosensor breathalyzer system to detect a viral infection from exhaled breath prints.”
The breath print is garnered by sampling the distinct breath of a person with Covid-19 from interaction of oxygen, nitric oxide and ammonia in the body. According to Gouma.
Even though PCR testing is the gold standard, it is invasive and uncomfortable with Nasal swabbing, they also tend to miss early Covid-19 infections. The noninvasive breathalyzer test can pick up early Covid-19 infection within 72 hours onset infection it is claimed.
The study followed 46 patients in the intensive care unit with acute respiratory failure that required mechanical ventilation. Half of the patients had an active COVID-19 infection and the remaining half didn’t have COVID-19. All patients had a PCR COVID-19 test when they were admitted to the unit.
Researchers collected exhaled breath bags from the patients on day 1, 3, 7 and 10 of their inpatient stay. The breath bag samples were tested within 4 hours of sample collection in a lab. The breath print was identified in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia with 88% accuracy upon admission to the ICU.