Scientific Paper describing research work done using our designs of VOC analysers and electronic noses

Electronic-Nose Technology using sputum samples in diagnosis of patients with Tuberculosis

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY, Nov. 2010, p. 4235-4238 Vol. 48, No. 110095-1137/10/$12.00 doi:10.1128/JCM.00569-10

Arend Kolk,1* Michael Hoelscher,2 Leonard Maboko,3 Jutta Jung,3 Sjoukje Kuijper,1 Michael Cauchi,4 Conrad Bessant,4 Stella van Beers,1 Ritaban Dutta,5 Tim Gibson,5 and Klaus Reither2,3 KIT Biomedical Research, KIT (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen/Royal Tropical Institute), Meibergdreef 39, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, Netherlands1; Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Clinical Center of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany2; NIMR-Mbeya Medical Research Programme, Mbeya, Tanzania3; Bioinformatics Group, Cranfield Health, Building 63, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, United Kingdom4; and Scensive Technologies Limited, Metic House, Ripley Drive, Normanton, West Yorkshire WF6 1QT, United Kingdom5


We investigated the potential of two different electronic noses (EN; code named "Rob" and "Walter") to differentiate between sputum headspace samples from tuberculosis (TB) patients and non-TB patients. Only samples from Ziehl-Neelsen stain (ZN)- and Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture-positive (TBPOS) sputum samples and ZN- and culture-negative (TBNEG) samples were used for headspace analysis; with EN Rob, we used 284 samples from TB suspects (56 TBPOS and 228 TBNEG samples), and with EN Walter, we used 323 samples from TB suspects (80 TBPOS and 243 TBNEG samples). The best results were obtained using advanced data extraction and linear discriminant function analysis, resulting in a sensitivity of 68%, a specificity of 69%, and an accuracy of 69% for EN Rob; for EN Walter, the results were 75%, 67%, and 69%, respectively. Further research is still required to improve the sensitivity and specificity by choosing more selective sensors and type of sampling technique.