A method for detecting Covid in exhaled air

DECRYPTION – An expensive and large device can detect the chemical signature of the disease in the breath of infected people.

It is a painless, fast and precise technique for detecting Covid, which consists of simply blowing into an instrument as is done for a breathalyzer. With the difference that the “tube” in which the air is exhaled must be connected to a mass spectrometer, an imposing and expensive machine capable of detecting minute traces of complex molecules (up to a few tens of molecules per quadrillion, i.e. 1 trillion trillion!). The idea is to identify and detect specific metabolites exhaled by people infected with Covid. Funnyly, that’s exactly what dogs trained to detect certain diseases do: their noses are unparalleled in their sensitivity to detecting tiny traces of volatile molecules.

The “proof of concept” of a chemical signature characteristic of the Covid-19 infection was demonstrated from the start of the pandemic, in spring 2020, on nearly 150 patients at the Croix-Rousse hospital

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