Ohio State University Researchers Say Breath Test Can Be New Way To Test For COVID-19

Monday, November 8th 2021, 5:10 pm

Researchers at the Ohio State University said they may have a new way to test for COVID-19.

Instead of having to get a nasal swab for a rapid or PCR test, they said they have created a COVID-19 breath test that could give you results in seconds.

"The advantage of it is takes a few seconds instead of a few hours and no one has to stab your brain with a Q-tip to get the sample," said Dr. Matthew Exline, the lead researcher and the director of critical care for University Hospital at Ohio State University.

Exline said one of his collaborators brought the idea forward for this test early in the pandemic, and after an initial study following patients in the ICU, the test showed promising accuracy.

"The test is detecting the gases that your body creates in response to COVID and not COVID itself," said Exline. "If COVID gets in your lungs, your lungs produce this gas nitric oxide in response and we detect the nitric oxide."

Right now, they are looking to use the test for a quick way to detect infection as soon as a patient enters the ICU, he said.

He said their dream, with continuing studies and research, would be for the test to be in outpatient settings like schools, clinics and offices.

"There are a lot of things with COVID that we have over sold," said Exline. "So, I want to tell people this is exciting new technology that we hope will someday help everyone, so more work needs to be done to show that is the case."

Exline said they have filed for emergency use authorization (EUA) with the FDA to use the breath test in an ICU setting. So far, they haven't heard back.


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