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1.
Microbial volatiles as diagnostic biomarkers of bacterial lung infection in mechanically ventilated patients
Waqar M Ahmed, Dominic Fenn, Iain R. White, Breanna Dixon, Tamara M E Nijsen, Hugo H Knobel, Paul Brinkman, Pouline M P van Oort, Marcus J Schultz, Paul Dark, Royston Goodacre, Timothy Felton, Lieuwe D J Bos, Stephen J. Fowler, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Background Early and accurate recognition of respiratory pathogens is crucial to prevent increased risk of mortality in critically ill patients. Microbial-derived volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) in exhaled breath could be used as non-invasive biomarkers of infection to support clinical diagnosis. Methods In this study, we investigated the diagnostic potential of in vitro confirmed mVOCs in the exhaled breath of patients under mechanically ventilation from the BreathDx study. Samples were analysed by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS). Results Pathogens from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cultures were identified in 45/89 patients and S. aureus was the most commonly identified pathogen (n = 15). Out of 19 mVOCs detected in the in vitro culture headspace of four common respiratory pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli), 14 were found in exhaled breath samples. Higher concentrations of two mVOCs were found in the exhaled breath of patients infected with S. aureus compared to those without (3-methylbutanal p < 0.01. AUROC = 0.81-0.87 and 3-methylbutanoic acid p = 0.01. AUROC = 0.79-0.80). In addition, bacteria identified from BAL cultures which are known to metabolise tryptophan (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca and Haemophilus influenzae) were grouped and found to produce higher concentrations of indole compared to breath samples with culture-negative (p = 0.034) and other pathogen-positive (p = 0.049) samples. Conclusions This study demonstrates the capability of using mVOCs to detect the presence of specific pathogen groups with potential to support clinical diagnosis. Although not all mVOCs were found in patient samples within this small pilot study, further targeted and qualitative investigation is warranted using multi-centre clinical studies.
Keywords: Breath, VOCs, infection, respiratory pathogens, VAP
Published in RUNG: 28.11.2022; Views: 1356; Downloads: 0
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2.
Detection and quantification of exhaled volatile organic compounds in mechanically ventilated patients–comparison of two sampling methods
Iain R. White, Pouline M. van Oort, Waqar Ahmed, Craig Johnson, Jonathan Bannard-Smith, Timothy Felton, Lieuwe D. Bos, Royston Goodacre, Paul Dark, Stephen J. Fowler, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Exhaled breath analysis is a promising new diagnostic tool, but currently no standardised method for sampling is available in mechanically ventilated patients. We compared two breath sampling methods, first using an artificial ventilator circuit, then in “real life” in mechanically ventilated patients on the intensive care unit. In the laboratory circuit, a 24-component synthetic-breath volatile organic compound (VOC) mixture was injected into the system as air was sampled: (A) through a port on the exhalation limb of the circuit and (B) through a closed endo-bronchial suction catheter. Sorbent tubes were used to collect samples for analysis by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Realistic mechanical ventilation rates and breath pressure–volume loops were established and method detection limits (MDLs) were calculated for all VOCs. Higher yields of VOCs were retrieved using the closed suction catheter; however, for several VOCs MDLs were compromised due to the background signal associated with plastic and rubber components in the catheters. Different brands of suction catheter were compared. Exhaled VOC data from 40 patient samples collected at two sites were then used to calculate the proportion of data analysed above the MDL. The relative performance of the two methods differed depending on the VOC under study and both methods showed sensitivity towards different exhaled VOCs. Furthermore, method performance differed depending on recruitment site, as the centres were equipped with different brands of respiratory equipment, an important consideration for the design of multicentre studies investigating exhaled VOCs in mechanically ventilated patients.
Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, infection, breath, ventilator associated pneumonia
Published in RUNG: 10.12.2020; Views: 2576; Downloads: 0
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3.
TD/GC–MS analysis of volatile markers emitted from mono- and co-cultures of Enterobacter cloacae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in artificial sputum
Iain R. White, Oluwasola Lawal, Hugo Knobel, Weda Hans, Tamara M E Nijsen, Royston Goodacre, Stephen J. Fowler, Waqar M Ahmed, Antonio Artigas, Jonathan Barnard-Smith, Lieuwe D Bos, Marta Camprubi, Luis Coelho, Paul Dark, Alan Davie, Emili Diaz, Gemma Goma, Timothy Felton, Jan H Leopold, Pouline M P van Oort, Pedro Póvoa, Craig Portsmouth, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction: Infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) can be caused by one or more pathogens. Current methods for identifying these pathogenic microbes often require invasive sampling, and can be time consuming, due to the requirement for prolonged cultural enrichment along with selective and differential plating steps. This results in delays in diagnosis which in such critically ill patients can have potentially life-threatening consequences. Therefore, a non-invasive and timely diagnostic method is required. Detection of microbial volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath is proposed as an alternative method for identifying these pathogens and may distinguish between mono- and poly-microbial infections. Objectives: To investigate volatile metabolites that discriminate between bacterial mono- and co-cultures. Methods: VAP-associated pathogens Enterobacter cloacae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were cultured individually and together in artificial sputum medium for 24 h and their headspace was analysed for potential discriminatory VOCs by thermal desorption gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Results: Of the 70 VOCs putatively identified, 23 were found to significantly increase during bacterial culture (i.e. likely to be released during metabolism) and 13 decreased (i.e. likely consumed during metabolism). The other VOCs showed no transformation (similar concentrations observed as in the medium). Bacteria-specific VOCs including 2-methyl-1-propanol, 2-phenylethanol, and 3-methyl-1-butanol were observed in the headspace of axenic cultures of E. cloacae, and methyl 2-ethylhexanoate in the headspace of P. aeruginosa cultures which is novel to this investigation. Previously reported VOCs 1-undecene and pyrrole were also detected. The metabolites 2-methylbutyl acetate and methyl 2-methylbutyrate, which are reported to exhibit antimicrobial activity, were elevated in co-culture only. Conclusion: The observed VOCs were able to differentiate axenic and co-cultures. Validation of these markers in exhaled breath specimens could prove useful for timely pathogen identification and infection type diagnosis.
Keywords: Bacteria, Enterobacter cloacae, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Infection, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Volatile organic compounds
Published in RUNG: 18.07.2019; Views: 4570; Downloads: 114
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