New Achievement in COVID-19 Test Kit Market: A Team develop a breathalyser to Help Identify Asymptomatic Patients Suffering from COVID-19

Posted On April 16, 2022     

Experts believe that eliminating the pandemic will necessitate speedy screening of attendees at large gatherings such as conferences and weddings. Even asymptomatic people can spread COVID-19 to others, so it's critical to identify and isolate them until they're no longer contagious.
 
To overcome this challenge, a research group has created a prototype "breathalyser." It has the ability to sensitively and accurately identify COVID-19 in less than 5 minutes, even in asymptomatic people. This can e considered a great advancement for COVID-19 Test Kit Market as it would offer companies, malls, and other establishments an effective way of identifying asymptomatic people suffering from the virus. It could ensure better safety in public places.
 
Currently, the RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) is the "gold standard" for testing COVID-19. Although the rapid antigen test is faster, it has a higher probability of false positives and negatives. Furthermore, the test is slow, requires a painful nasopharyngeal swab for sample collection, and must be done in a lab.
 
COVID-19 breathalyser tests have also been developed. They are based on changes in the concentrations of volatile organic compounds exhaled by persons infected with the coronavirus. Nonetheless, these devices are not effective as most need bulky, nonportable devices for analysis. Looking at the existing problems, the team's goal was to create a quick, easy, and accurate breathalyzer test. One that could be used to screen large groups of people on-site.
 
A portable breathalyser with three SERS sensors (Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering) linked to silver nanocubes on a chip was recently created by the researchers. The compound present in the person's breath chemically interact with the sensors as they exhale into the gadget for 10 seconds. The researchers then connected the breathalyser to a portable Raman spectrometer. The instrument uses variations in the chemical vibrations of the SERS sensors to analyze the bound substances.
 
The researchers discovered that COVID-positive and -negative people's Raman spectra differed in regions responsive to aldehydes, alcohols, and ketones. They utilized it to create a statistical model for COVID diagnosis. They used the breathalyser on 501 patients in Singapore hospitals and airports. The result showed 85.2% were negative, 8.6 were in the category of positive and symptomatic. At last, the evidence provided that 6.2% of the participants were positive and asymptomatic for the coronavirus. These tests were also done by RT-PCR test.
 
It is important to note that the approach had a 3.8% false-negative rate and a false-positive rate of 0.1%. The stats are equivalent to RT-PCR testing, but it could be conducted on-site in under 5 minutes. The breathalyser could one day be a new tool for communities to combat the quiet spread of COVID-19.

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