Seasonal influenza is a common respiratory illness that presents with annual cough and fever epidemics. In the USA, the total economic burden of annual influenza epidemics amounted to $87.1 billion in 2003, arising mainly from outpatient visits, hospitalization, time lost from work, and premature death. The economic and clinical burdens of influenza epidemics may get worse in the future, because novel influenza viruses such as Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype threaten world-wide pandemics.
Fortunately, detecting influenza early and treating it with antiviral medications can mitigate its severity and duration.
The problem is that effective treatment of influenza is limited by the available technology for early diagnosis. There is a clinical need for a rapid, accurate, and cost-effective point-of-care test that will detect influenza in its early stages.
A new solution to the problem: Menssana Research performed a study in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force of normal healthy humans treated with live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). Breath concentrations of 2, 8-dimethyl-undecane and other alkane derivatives increased within two days.
We are now developing a rapid point-of-care breath test that could potentially identify people who are acutely infected with influenza, but who have not yet developed clinical symptoms or signs of disease.
(PDF Document) Effect of influenza vaccination on oxidative stress products in breath.
Phillips M, Cataneo RN, Chaturvedi A, Danaher PJ, Devadiga A, Legendre DA, Nail KL, Schmitt P, and Wai J
Journal of Breath Research (Jan. 22, 2010)