Breath biomarker discovery with Breath Biopsy could help to enable non-invasive precision medicine and symptom monitoring for gastrointestinal diseases.
Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and colonic dysbiosis, together affect over a billion people worldwide1. These conditions all share common non-specific clinical presentations, making accurate diagnosis and effective treatment a critical challenge. GI diseases vary in impact from mild to debilitating and are estimated to cost the US alone $21 billion a year in healthcare costs and lost productivity2.
Accurate diagnosis of GI illness can be a lengthy and frustrating process for patients. Non-invasive breath tests could help to change this by providing new information to help inform rapid diagnosis and treatment decisions. Breath tests are already in limited clinical use for GI conditions. Hydrogen methane breath tests (HMBT), can help to identify conditions, such as SIBO and carbohydrate malabsorption, by assessing aspects of gut microbiome metabolism.
There is a growing body of research demonstrating the capabilities of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on breath to detect, distinguish and monitor various GI illnesses. Human breath contains over 1,000 different VOCs which can originate from endogenous metabolism or exogenous sources such as diet, the environment or the microbiome. Collecting and analyzing these compounds can be a rich source of information relevant to health and disease. By developing Breath Biopsy, Owlstone Medical have become the world-leaders in robust and reliable, non-invasive breath collection for biomarker discovery research.
1. Nirwan et al., Global Prevalence and Risk Factors of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD): Systematic Review with Meta-analysis. Sci. Rep. 10, 5814 (2020) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62795-1
2. About IBS, Statistics about IBS (visited March 2021) https://aboutibs.org/what-is-ibs/facts-about-ibs/statistics/
Biomarkers of GI disease originate directly within the gut and are then transferred into breath via the bloodstream. As such, breath tests have the potential to detect systemic markers of GI diseases. Breath Biopsy supports research into breath biomarkers with the ReCIVA® Breath Sampler for non-invasive breath sample collection and provides robust biomarker discovery pipelines using GC-MS analysis provided through Breath Biopsy OMNI.
- BLOG: A Brief History of Non-invasive Gastrointestinal Biomarker Research
- WATCH: Digestion, fermentation and function – Using breath analysis to assess digestive health (30 mins talk)
- GUEST BLOG: Breath testing in gastrointestinal health: present reality and future opportunities
- PAPER: Non-invasive exhaled volatile organic biomarker analysis to detect inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- CASE STUDY: Breath biomarkers for C. difficile infection – A summary of a Breath Biopsy study with Cleveland Clinic investigating the potential to use breath testing to identify C. difficile infections in hospital patients.
- BLOG: Inflammation as a source of biomarkers – Although inflammation is a feature of many diseases, there is reason to believe it can still produce biomarkers specific to different phenotypes
- GUEST BLOG: Breath-based VOCs in current gastrointestinal research – Including our investigation into the impact of iron on the gastrointestinal tract
- DOWNLOAD: Breath Biopsy: The Complete Guide – Over 100 pages packed with everything you need to know about breath research, and the applications and technologies of Breath Biopsy.
- CASE STUDY: Breath Biopsy for IBD diagnosis and stratification
- BLOG: The benefits of breath sampling – Seven reasons to collect and analyze breath samples for your research
- PAPER: Optimized Sampling Conditions for Fecal Volatile Organic Compound Analysis by Means of FAIMS technology
- BLOG: Avoiding background signals – How the CASPER™ Portable Air Supply enhances Breath Biopsy results
- PAPER: Non-invasive diagnostics in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease – Fecal volatile organic compounds analysis using field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry