J.J.B.N. van Berkel
F.J. van Schooten
- Breath analysis as a potential diagnostic tool for tuberculosis
- The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
SETTING: Cape Town, South Africa.
OBJECTIVES: We investigated the potential of breath analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to discriminate between samples collected prospectively from patients with suspected tuberculosis (TB).
DESIGN: Samples were obtained in a TB-endemic setting in South Africa, where 28% of culture-proven TB patients had Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) negative sputum smear. A training set of breath samples from 50 sputum culture-proven TB patients and 50 culture-negative non-TB patients was analysed using GC-MS. We used support vector machine analysis for classification of the patient samples into TB and non-TB.
RESULTS: A classification model with seven compounds had a sensitivity of 72%, a specificity of 86% and an accuracy of 79% compared with culture. The classification model was validated with breath samples from a different set of 21 TB and 50 non-TB patients from the same area, giving a sensitivity of 62%, a specificity of 84% and an accuracy of 77%.
CONCLUSION: This study shows that GC-MS breath analysis is able to differentiate between TB and non-TB breath samples even among patients with a negative ZN sputum smear but a positive culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We conclude that breath analysis by GC-MS merits further research.
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