Breath of Health: spectroscopy-based breath test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2

Dan Padawer, Abed Qadan, Mutaz Karameh, Fares Darawshy, Arie Laor, Sinora Banker, Zvi G. Fridlender*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis. These tests require professional manpower and equipment, long processing and swab sampling which is unpleasant to the patients. Several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been identified in the breath of COVID-19 patients. Detection of these VOCs using a breath test could help rapidly identify COVID-19 patients. Objective: Assess the accuracy of ‘Breath of Health’ (BOH) COVID-19 Fourier-transform infra-red (FTIR) Spectroscopy-based breath test. Methods: Breath samples from patients with or without symptoms suggestive for COVID-19 who had NAAT results were collected using Tedlar bags and were blindly analysed using BOH FTIR spectroscopy. BOH Measures several VOCs simultaneously and differentiating positive and negative results. BOH results were compared to NAAT results as gold standard. Results: Breath samples from 531 patients were analysed. The sensitivity of BOH breath test was found to be 79.5% and specificity was 87.2%. Positive predictive value (PPV) was 74.7% and negative predictive value (NPV) 90.0%. Calculated accuracy rate was 84.8% and area under the curve 0.834. Subgroup analysis revealed that the NPV of patients without respiratory symptoms was superior over the NPV of symptomatic patients (94.7% vs 80.7%, P-value < 0.0001) and PPV of patients with respiratory symptoms outranks the PPV of individuals without symptoms (85.3% vs 69.2%, P-value 0.0196) Conclusion: We found BOH COVID-19 breath test to be a patient-friendly, rapid, non-invasive diagnostic test with high accuracy rate and NPV that could efficiently rule out COVID-19 especially among individuals with low pre-test probability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
JournalInfectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • COVID-19
  • Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • breath test


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