Breath is hypothesized to contain clinically relevant information, useful for the diagnosis and monitoring of disease, as well as understanding underlying pathogenesis. Nonhuman primates, such as the cynomolgus macaque, serve as an important model for the study of human disease, including over 70 different human infections. In this feasibility study, exhaled breath was successfully collected in less than 5 min under Biosafety Level 3 conditions from five anesthetized, intubated cynomolgus and rhesus macaques, before and after lung infection with M. tuberculosis. The breath was subsequently analyzed using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry. A total of 384 macaque breath features were detected, with hydrocarbons being the most abundant. We provide putative identification for 19 breath molecules and report on overlap between the identified macaque breath compounds and those identified in previous human studies.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the volatile molecule content of macaque breath has been comprehensively sampled and analyzed. We do so here in a Biosafety Level 3 setting in the context of M. tuberculosis lung infection. The breath of nonhuman primates represents a novel fluid that could provide insight into disease pathogenesis.
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