Potential for Breath Test Diagnosis of Urease Positive Pathogens in Lung Infections

August 28, 2019

PERSPECTIVE:  Potential for breath test diagnosis of urease positive pathogens in lung infections

William R. Bishai, MD, PhD and Graham S. Timmins, PhD


Roles for urease in virulence are accepted for Helicobacter pylori and urinary tract pathogens. However,

urease is widely expressed by bacterial and fungal lung pathogens causing emerging and opportunistic

lung infections, organisms causing acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, mycobacterial lung

diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), and ventilator associated pneumonia and health care associated

pneumonia. Detection of urease provides a method for rapid in vivo detection of these lung pathogens

by inhaled 13C- breath test, and this review discusses the range of lung pathogens that might be

amenable to rapid diagnosis.

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