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1.
Headspace volatile organic compounds from bacteria implicated in ventilator-associated pneumonia analysed by TD-GC/MS
Stephen J Fowler, Roy Goodacre, Iain R White, Tamara M E Nijsen, Waqar M Ahmed, Howbeer Muhamadali, Oluwasola Lawal, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a healthcare-acquired infection arising from the invasion of the lower respiratory tract by opportunistic pathogens in ventilated patients. The current method of diagnosis requires the culture of an airway sample such as bronchoalveolar lavage, which is invasive to obtain and may take up to seven days to identify a causal pathogen, or indeed rule out infection. While awaiting results, patients are administered empirical antibiotics; risks of this approach include lack of effect on the causal pathogen, contribution to the development of antibiotic resistance and downstream effects such as increased length of intensive care stay, cost, morbidity and mortality. Specific biomarkers which could identify causal pathogens in a timely manner are needed as they would allow judicious use of the most appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis in exhaled breath is proposed as an alternative due to its non-invasive nature and its potential to provide rapid diagnosis at the patient's bedside. VOCs in exhaled breath originate from exogenous, endogenous, as well as microbial sources. To identify potential markers, VAP-associated pathogens Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus were cultured in both artificial sputum medium and nutrient broth, and their headspaces were sampled and analysed for VOCs. Previously reported volatile markers were identified in this study, including indole and 1-undecene, alongside compounds that are novel to this investigation, cyclopentanone and 1-hexanol. We further investigated media components (substrates) to identify those that are essential for indole and cyclopentanone production, with potential implications for understanding microbial metabolism in the lung.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: bacteria, exhaled breath, infection, ventilator-associated pneumonia, volatile organic compounds
Published: 18.07.2019; Views: 1948; Downloads: 0

2.
TD/GC–MS analysis of volatile markers emitted from mono- and co-cultures of Enterobacter cloacae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in artificial sputum
Craig Portsmouth, Pedro Póvoa, Jan H Leopold, Pouline M P van Oort, Emili Diaz, Gemma Goma, Timothy Felton, Paul Dark, Alan Davie, Luis Coelho, Lieuwe D Bos, Marta Camprubi, Antonio Artigas, Jonathan Barnard-Smith, Waqar M Ahmed, Stephen J Fowler, Tamara M E Nijsen, Royston Goodacre, Weda Hans, Hugo Knobel, Oluwasola Lawal, Iain R White, 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.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Bacteria, Enterobacter cloacae, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Infection, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Volatile organic compounds
Published: 18.07.2019; Views: 2158; Downloads: 84
.pdf Fulltext (1,29 MB)

3.
Development of an adaptable headspace sampling method for metabolic profiling of the fungal volatome
Stephen J Fowler, Nicholas D Read, Royston Goodacre, Michael J Bromley, Tamara M Nijsen, Oluwasola Lawal, Iain R White, Pavlos Geranios, Waqar M Ahmed, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Pulmonary aspergillosis can cause serious complications in people with a suppressed immune system. Volatile metabolites emitted by Aspergillus spp. have shown promise for early detection of pathogenicity. However, volatile profiles require further research, as effective headspace analysis methods are required for extended chemical coverage of the volatome; in terms of both very volatile and semi-volatile compounds. In this study, we describe a novel adaptable sampling method in which fungal headspace samples can be sampled continuously throughout a defined time period using both active (pumped) and passive (diffusive) methods, with the capability for samples to be stored for later off-line analysis. For this method we utilise thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to generate volatile metabolic profiles using Aspergillus fumigatus as the model organism. Several known fungal-specific volatiles associated with secondary metabolite biosynthesis (including α-pinene, camphene, limonene, and several sesquiterpenes) were identified. A comparison between the wild-type A. fumigatus with a phosphopantetheinyl transferase null mutant strain (ΔpptA) that is compromised in secondary metabolite synthesis, revealed reduced production of sesquiterpenes. We also showed the lack of terpene compounds production during the early growth phase, whilst pyrazines were identified in both early and late growth phases. We have demonstrated that the fungal volatome is dynamic and it is therefore critically necessary to sample the headspace across several time periods using a combination of active and passive sampling techniques to analyse and understand this dynamism.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Volatile Organic Compounds, Fungi, Mycelial growth
Published: 18.07.2019; Views: 1963; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (712,24 KB)

4.
Microbial volatiles as diagnostic biomarkers of bacterial lung infection in mechanically ventilated patients
Lieuwe D J Bos, Stephen J Fowler, Timothy Felton, Royston Goodacre, Marcus J Schultz, Paul Dark, Pouline M P van Oort, Tamara M E Nijsen, Hugo H Knobel, Paul Brinkman, Breanna Dixon, Dominic Fenn, Iain R White, Waqar M Ahmed, 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.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Breath, VOCs, infection, respiratory pathogens, VAP
Published: 28.11.2022; Views: 57; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,25 MB)

5.
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.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, infection, breath, ventilator associated pneumonia
Published: 10.12.2020; Views: 1456; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,61 MB)

6.
Composition and diversity analysis of the lung microbiome in patients with suspected ventilator-associated pneumonia
Stephen Fowler, Paul Dark, Marcus Schultz, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Pedro Póvoa, Antonio Artigas, Timothy Felton, Waqar Ahmed, Pouline van Oort, Paul Brinkman, Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz, Dominic Fenn, Iain R. White, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is associated with high morbidity and health care costs, yet diagnosis remains a challenge. Analysis of airway microbiota by amplicon sequencing provides a possible solution, as pneumonia is characterised by a disruption of the microbiome. However, studies evaluating the diagnostic capabilities of microbiome analysis are limited, with a lack of alignment on possible biomarkers. Using bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from ventilated adult patients suspected of VAP, we aimed to explore how key characteristics of the microbiome differ between patients with positive and negative BALF cultures and whether any differences could have a clinically relevant role. Methods: BALF from patients suspected of VAP was analysed using 16s rRNA sequencing in order to: (1) differentiate between patients with and without a positive culture; (2) determine if there was any association between microbiome diversity and local inflammatory response; and (3) correctly identify pathogens detected by conventional culture. Results: Thirty-seven of 90 ICU patients with suspected VAP had positive cultures. Patients with a positive culture had significant microbiome dysbiosis with reduced alpha diversity. However, gross compositional variance was not strongly associated with culture positivity (AUROCC range 0.66–0.71). Patients with a positive culture had a significantly higher relative abundance of pathogenic bacteria compared to those without [0.45 (IQR 0.10–0.84), 0.02 (IQR 0.004–0.09), respectively], and an increased interleukin (IL)-1β was associated with reduced species evenness (rs = − 0.33, p < 0.01) and increased pathogenic bacteria presence (rs = 0.28, p = 0.013). Untargeted 16s rRNA pathogen detection was limited by false positives, while the use of pathogen-specific relative abundance thresholds showed better diagnostic accuracy (AUROCC range 0.89–0.998). Conclusion: Patients with positive BALF culture had increased dysbiosis and genus dominance. An increased caspase-1-dependent IL-1b expression was associated with a reduced species evenness and increased pathogenic bacterial presence, providing a possible causal link between microbiome dysbiosis and lung injury development in VAP. However, measures of diversity were an unreliable predictor of culture positivity and 16s sequencing used agnostically could not usefully identify pathogens; this could be overcome if pathogen-specific relative abundance thresholds are used.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: Microbiome, Next-generation sequencing, Ventilator-associated pneumonia
Published: 26.10.2022; Views: 177; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,39 MB)

7.
Untargeted molecular analysis of exhaled breath as a diagnostic test for ventilator-associated lower respiratory tract infections (BreathDx)
Murtaza Bulut, Waqar Ahmed, Antonio Artigas, Iain R. White, Hugo Knobel, Timothy Felton, Nicholas J. W. Rattray, Oluwasola Lawal, Pouline M. van Oort, Tamara M. E. Nijsen, 2021, short scientific article

Abstract: Patients suspected of ventilator-associated lower respiratory tract infections (VA-LRTIs) commonly receive broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy unnecessarily. We tested whether exhaled breath analysis can discriminate between patients suspected of VA-LRTI with confirmed infection, from patients with negative cultures. Breath from 108 patients suspected of VA-LRTI was analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The breath test had a sensitivity of 98% at a specificity of 49%, confirmed with a second analytical method. The breath test had a negative predictive value of 96% and excluded pneumonia in half of the patients with negative cultures. Trial registration number: UKCRN ID number 19086, registered May 2015.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: ventilator-associated pneumonia, breath analysis, volatile organic compounds, metabolomics, intensive care, hospital acquired infections
Published: 07.09.2021; Views: 1069; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (352,35 KB)

8.
Breath and plasma metabolomics to assess inflammation in acute stroke
Craig Johnson, Nicholas J. W. Rattray, Amit K. Kishore, Royston Goodacre, Waqar Ahmed, Iain R. White, Maxim Wilkinson, Craig J. Smith, Stephen J. Fowler, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Inflammation is strongly implicated in both injury and repair processes occurring after stroke. In this exploratory study we assessed the feasibility of repeated sampling of exhaled volatile organic compounds and performed an untargeted metabolomic analysis of plasma collected at multiple time periods after stroke. Metabolic profiles were compared with the time course of the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Serial breath sampling was well-tolerated by all patients and the measurement appears feasible in this group. We found that exhaled decanal tracks CRP and IL-6 levels post-stroke and correlates with several metabolic pathways associated with a post-stroke inflammatory response. This suggests that measurement of breath and blood metabolites could facilitate development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. Results are discussed in relation to the utility of breath analysis in stroke care, such as in monitoring recovery and complications including stroke associated infection.
Found in: osebi
Keywords: stroke, metabolomics, breath, VOCs, inflammation
Published: 18.11.2021; Views: 754; Downloads: 45
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