Study of exhaled breath promises early diagnosis of TB

Dr. Ranjan Nanda, Group Leader of the Translational Health lab, ICGEB New Delhi studies alternate, noninvasive methods of disease diagnosis.

Earlier last year the work of his lab was cited in the feature cover article of Shaastra, a bimonthly magazine from IIT Madras showcasing achievements in science, technology and innovation in India and abroad.

The Nanda Group, it reported, has reached a turning point in a decade-long quest to identify a set of chemicals in the breath to detect tuberculosis (TB). He has finally identified 10 chemicals capable of discriminating between active TB and non-TB subjects (who may have some other respiratory disease) with roughly 90% accuracy.

In identifying a biomarker signature for TB in exhaled breath, his ultimate goal is a point-of-care breath test for TB that can be used in low-resource settings: “putting the science to work in a device that can even screen people at home”.

Dr. Ranjan Nanda pictured in the lab at ICGEB New Delhi.