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Breath test to diagnose TB in minutes

health-and-fitness Updated: Jan 11, 2013 23:39 IST

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Scientists have developed a simple breath test which they claim can diagnose lung infections such as tuberculosis in minutes instead of weeks.

Researchers managed to identify the 'fingerprints' of different types and strains of bacteria by testing the breath of mice, the Daily Mail reported.

A scaled up version of the technique could reduce the time it takes to diagnose lung infections in humans from days and weeks to just minutes.

"Traditional methods employed to diagnose bacterial infections of the lung require the collection of a sample that is then used to grow bacteria," Dr Jane Hill, one of the US scientists from the University of Vermont, said.

"The isolated colony of bacteria is then biochemically tested to classify it and to see how resistant it is to antibiotics," Hill said.

"Breath analysis would reduce the time-to-diagnosis to just minutes," Hill said.