Biljana Gjurova at the Breath Biopsy Conference 2022
(22 mins) EARLY CAREERS: A study to identify Covid-19 marker in exhaled breath by the use of ion mobility spectrometry
Rapid screening of populations for Covid-19 infection remains important to prevent outbreaks in vulnerable settings such as nursing homes. Screening tests should provide rapid and reliable results and be inexpensive and easy to use. Breath analysis with ion mobility spectrometers coupled to gas chromatographic columns (GC-IMS) could be an alternative to the widely used rapid antigen tests. We analysed the exhaled breath of patients with Covid-19-like symptoms who visited a physician using GC-IMS directly in the treatment room of the practice. In parallel, nasopharyngeal swabs were collected for routine PCR analysis. Of the 136 subjects, 90 tested PCR positive, and 46 tested negative. GC-IMS results were analysed and classified to look for differences between groups. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) showed good separation of PCR-positive and negative groups. In addition, “recent infections” (1-3 days after symptom onset, 61 subjects) could still be distinguished from the negative group, but the separation was not as good as for “advanced infections” (4-7 days after symptom onset, 15 subjects) Three of the total subjects has been removed. There are still possibilities to improve the classification result, as we used a rather simple sampling technique: Exhaled air collected under an FFP2 mask was drawn into the IMS device via a standard Heidelberger-type infusion extension line. However, since the total analysis time from sampling to result was only four minutes with the used IMS device from STEP Sensortechnik (Pockau, Germany), this technology is a potential diagnostic tool for a rapid screening method in the future.
Biljana Gjurova is currently studying for a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Life Sciences at Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences, focusing on cell biology, microbiology, genetics, protein analysis, and pharmacy. She is currently also working for the department of MicroDiagnostics at the Fraunhofer IZI in Leipzig, on the topic of “The use of a Multicapillary column coupled to an Ion Mobility Spectrometry for the Analysis to differentiate between antibiotic-resistant and antibiotic-sensitive bacteria”. She has conducted work differentiating between several bacteria strains and fungus, and recently finished a collaboration with the General Practice Center of Dres. Lipp & Amm in Leipzig, which involved collecting breath gas samples of potential Covid-19 infected patients for analysis by of GC-IMS.
The Breath Biopsy Conference 2023 is scheduled for 31st October − 1st November. Click the button to express interest in the next Breath Biopsy Conference: