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Evaluation of a novel breath test for tuberculosis

30 months
Approved budget:
Professor Steve Chambers
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Our goal is to develop an accurate breath test for the diagnosis and monitoring of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Current methods are insensitive and/or too slow, hindering global TB control. We have identified a gas (methyl nicotinate) that is produced by the TB germ, detectable in the breath of 10 people with TB. For this purpose, we use a very sensitive and specific gas chromatograph with mass spectroscopy detection. We now want to find out how often this gas is present in the breath of people who have TB, compared with those who do not, and determine if it reliably goes away with treatment. This study will be done in an Indonesian TB clinic where there are many TB cases. It will provide justification for developing new, fast and non-invasive technology to diagnose and monitor TB.