The microbiological diagnosis of infectious diarrhea may take several days using conventional techniques.
In this study, physicians from Bristol, England, investigated whether flatus could be used to make a rapid diagnosis.
The team analyzed the volatile organic compounds associated with diarrhea.
They collected stool samples from 35 patients with infectious diarrhea and from 6 healthy controls.
Gaseous compounds were extracted from a headspace using solid phase microextraction. These were analyzed using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy.
The team identified characteristic patterns of volatile gases for the main causes of infectious diarrhea in hospitals.
|Furan species without indoles indicated Clostridium difficile.|
They determined that furan species without indoles indicated Clostridium difficile.
Ethyl dodecanoate indicated rotavirus, and ammonia without ethyl dodecanoate suggested other enteric viruses.
The absence of hydrocarbons and terpenes indicated Campylobacter infection.
Dr Probert's team concluded, "These results could be the basis of rapid near patient diagnosis of infectious diarrhea".