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Breath Test as alternative to swabs

E: A connection is helpful

Throat and nasal swabs are unreliable it is difficult to take reliable samples especially with self testing and the only reliable result is therefore a positive !

As the Coronavirus seems to primarily affect the lungs I suggest taking something like a drinking straw which has a cotton wool swab or capture membrane embedded within the straw. The patient  blows through the straw similar to a breathalyzer sample and the virus particles which present in aerosols from the lungs and throat  are captured by the swab or membrane . The sample is sent to the Laboratory and swab removed for testing in the usual  way.

It may be possible to incorporate a detection method within the straw itself for accessing the result at the sampling point in a similar way to a pregnancy test


Have you validated this method, if so, how and what were the results of the validation?

No just an idea for consideration

How quickly could this be deployed and what are the dependencies?

Almost immediately Would need a supply of embedded suitable tubes and sterile packaging using existing widely used medical products 

What is the likely production volume?


What are the risks and barriers to using this at scale?

Would it work?. Needs evaluating

Who are you already partnering with on this?


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Bev Matthews May 24, 2020

Status label added: E: Requires a connection

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Bev Matthews May 24, 2020

Thank you Peter, Our assessors thing that your solution will be useful for those focused on breath testing. My colleague Tom will be in contact to link you. Thank you Bev

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Peter Smith May 24, 2020

Thank you Bev

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Tom Jordan May 27, 2020

Hi Peter, with your permission I would like to link you up with Professor Ian Pavord at Oxford to think about how we can progress this idea. Are you happy for me to connect you over email?

Kind regards,

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Peter Smith May 27, 2020

Hi Tom
Many thanks for your interest in my idea for breath testing
Yes I would very much like to be contacted by Professor Ian Pavord to explore the basis of this way of testing for Covid-19
Looking forward to the opportunity
Peter Smith

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