A simple asthma saliva test which can diagnose asthma from an affected person’s saliva has been advanced through Loughborough University.
Around 5.4 million people are currently treated for bronchial asthma within UK, of which 1.1 million are kids.
To diagnose the situation medical doctors generally measure a person’s airflow lung potential, however lung function tests can be misguided and do not replicate underlying changes associated with allergies. Different checks, inclusive of blood, urine or sputum analysis can be distressing, especially for more youthful patients.
The new test created in collaboration with Nottingham City, is absolutely painless and gives a single-step diagnosis appropriate for humans of every age.
The Wonders of Saliva in Asthmatics
To develop this test, the research team, led by Professor Colin Creaser from Loughborough’s Department of Chemistry and Dr Dominick Shaw from the Respiratory Research Unit at City Hospital, accumulated saliva from patients with bronchial asthma and healthy people. They then carried out liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) evaluation on the samples to find metabolic biomarkers.
With the aid of detecting the presence and amount of those ‘metabolic biomarkers’ the study can diagnose allergies. It also has the potential to pinpoint the severity and development of the ailment. Professor Creaser added, Unlike other sampling methods, such as expired breath analysis, saliva can be collected by passive drool from the very young to the very old without causing distress. We were therefore interested to know if techniques for metabolic profiling of saliva to identify physiological stress from exercise — developed by Loughborough — could be applied to asthma diagnosis. We were very excited to discover that they could.
Before this new test can move to a medical setting the diagnostic metabolic biomarkers diagnosed the need to be demonstrated in further longitudinal research. If that is a success, the technique may be used in early asthma diagnosis as well as part of the ongoing tracking of patients. The studies have been posted in the magazine Analytical techniques.