One of the major hurdles in treating tuberculosis (TB) is the time-consuming and difficult methodology for diagnosis. Stable-isotope breath tests hold great potential for rapidly diagnosing an infectious disease, monitoring therapy, and determining a bacterial phenotype in a rapid, point-of-care manner that does not require invasive sampling. Here we describe the preclinical development of a potentially highly selective TB diagnostic breath test based upon the organism's CO dehydrogenase activity. After development of the test in vitro, we were able to use the breath test to discriminate between infected and control rabbits, demonstrating that a diagnosis can potentially be made and also that a complex bacterial phenotype can be noninvasively and rapidly studied in the host.
ASJC Scopus subject areas