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Now, breath test to diagnose H1N1 infection

A team of researchers from the U.S.-based Cleveland Clinic and New-Zealand-based Syft Technologies has developed a novel breath test to help identify people infected with the H1N1 flu virus, according to a study published in IOP Publishing's Journal of Breath Research on Friday.

The test, which measures the immune response to the H1N1 flu virus, could help ease future vaccine shortages by identifying the people who have already been infected with the flu virus.

The fast-acting, non-invasive test would measure biomolecules produced by the body in response to the H1N1 strain.

Nine individuals were given the attenuated H1N1 vaccine and administered the breath test over seven days. The test examined exhaled nitric oxide (NO), a biomolecule whose production has previously been linked to influenza and viral infection and is thought to play a beneficial role in viral clearance.

On the third day, the results showed a peaking of NO levels in all subjects. There were no significant differences in levels on any other day. — ANI

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