Volatile organic compounds generated by cultures of bacteria and viruses associated with respiratory infections

Amir Abd El Qader, David Lieberman, Yonat Shemer Avni, Natali Svobodin, Tsilia Lazarovitch, Orli Sagi, Yehuda Zeiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Respiratory infections (RI) can be viral or bacterial in origin. In either case, the invasion of the pathogen results in production and release of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The present study examines the VOCs released from cultures of five viruses (influenza A, influenza B, adenovirus, respiratory syncitial virus and parainfluenza 1 virus), three bacteria (Moraxella catarrhalis, Haemophilus influenzae and Legionella pneumophila) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae isolated colonies. Our results demonstrate the involvement of inflammation-induced VOCs. Two significant VOCs were identified as associated with infectious bacterial activity, heptane and methylcyclohexane. These two VOCs have been linked in previous studies to oxidative stress effects. In order to distinguish between bacterial and viral positive cultures, we performed principal component analysis including peak identity (retention time) and VOC concentration (i.e. area under the peak) revealing 1-hexanol and 1-heptadecene to be good predictors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1783-1790
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Chromatography
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Biomarker
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Microbial culture
  • Volatile organic compound (VOC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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