Non-Invasive Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the Exhaled Breath of Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis


To adapt a novel air sampling device to collect exhaled breath for non-invasive detection of lung infections

Anticipated Impact: 

Enhanced ability to detect poorly diagnosed lung infections (particularly in children who cannot produce sputum) and treat them appropriately


Diagnosis of lower airway infections in young children is often difficult because they are unable to produce sputum, which is the best sample for culture detection of organisms. This is particularly problematic in children with community-acquired pneumonia, latent tuberculosis infections, or cystic fibrosis (CF). Appropriate diagnosis is critical to avoid either undertreatment of serious infections or overutilization of antibiotics, leading to antibiotic resistance. The goals of this grant are to: 1. adapt an aerodynamic lens aerosol concentrator device, which was developed by commercialization partner Enertechnix (based in Maple Valley, Washington) for direct capture of exhaled breath for detection of bacteria or viruses; and 2. test the modified device in children with CF to assess sensitivity and specificity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa detection compared with sputum analysis. If this proof of concept study is successful, Enertechnix will seek additional funding to test the device in patients with other lung infections.

Collaborating organization: Enertechnix, Inc.

2011 LSDF/WBBA Open House Poster

Respiratory Infection Diagnosis

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Jane Burns
Grantee Organization:
Seattle Children's Hospital
Grant Title:
Non-Invasive Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the Exhaled Breath of Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis
Grant Cohort and Year:
2010 Second Round Commercialization (04)
Grant Period:
05/01/2011 - 04/30/2013 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
This project sought to identify a rapid, accurate and non-invasive method for detecting lung infections in children. This method used a simple manufactured devise for children to breathe into with detection of the infection by a genetic technique called PCR. Unfortunately, after enrolling 9 subjects we found that we were unsuccessful in detecting any bacteria using PCR. Thus the study ended early.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact
Maple Valley

Legislative Districts:
5, 11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

Respiratory Infection Diagnosis