Previous findings show that the highest number, and severity, of symptoms related to a H1N1 infection occur on day three, suggesting, along with this research, that this is when an immune response is triggered in the body.
The H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009 affected over 214 countries and resulted in approximately 43 million illnesses and 8,870,449 deaths.
This study presents the first direct evidence of a potential test to diagnose H1N1 influenza using your breath, a concept which has already been used to diagnose and monitor asthma, check for transplant organ rejection, and to detect lung cancer and alcohol intoxication.
If a fast, easy, non-invasive breath test is to be mass-produced, the researchers state that further work will need to identify other compounds associated with an immune response that were only touched upon in this study, as well as identifying the exact mechanism underlying the increase in exhaled NO as a result of the live vaccine.
One of the study's authors Professor Raed Dweik said, "This study adds to the growing evidence for the utility of breath analysis in medical diagnostics. More work still needs to be done, however, to identify the specific compounds that change in response to vaccination and to find the biologic link between those compounds and the host response to the vaccine or the actual disease."
|Contact: Michael Bishop|
Institute of Physics