SARS-CoV-2 Breath Tests Implementation for the Rapid COVID-19 Surveillance: A Game Changer?- A Review of Existing Data
Keywords:COVID-19, Breath Test, Surveillance, Diagnosis, SARS-CoV-2
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been spread across the globe for almost a year, causing economic, social, and psychological impacts with yet unknown dimensions. In emerging and reemerging pathogen surveillance and detection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a classic laboratory technique that has been widely used for the amplification and identification of nucleic acids. Analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath has been long reviewed as a potential diagnostics tool for many diseases. The overall specificity for SARS-CoV-2 of these methods was a calculated 69%,30 which is a low value for reliable detection. Breath tests are not a sufficiently evidence-based approach for rapid screening and to "secure" or creating "sanctuary" regions for touristic purposes. Therefore, policy-makers must cautiously point out the importance of further evaluation and structured studies confronting gold-standards with new devices.