Diagnosis of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is the main infectious cause of death worldwide, primarily among children. For example, pneumonia accounts for 15% of all deaths in children under 5 years of age (an estimated 935,000 children each year). Globally, pneumonia affects approximately 450 million people, and results in about 4 million deaths per year. Hence, it exacts an enormous toll in economic and human terms. Early diagnosis is crucial for treatment success and improvement of outcome. However, the high morbidity and mortality of pneumonia is partly due to the lack of efficient diagnostics.
Our ultimate objective will be to diagnose bacterial pneumonia using a non-invasive breath test that will deliver a positive/negative response, and will be used to identify a subset of disease-causing pathogens in ~15 min. The figure describes the clinical problem and the proposed solution.
This work is part of the Zurich Exhalomics project under the umbrella of the University Medicine Zurich (Hochschulmedizin Zürich). This project is fully funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.