Saliva biomarkers in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation

Theme Respiratory disease

Workstream Exacerbation prediction and aerosol emissions

Status: This project is ongoing

This project aims to validate a new point-of-care technology designed to look for certain biomarkers in a patient’s saliva. It can be used to test the saliva of patients with respiratory infections when they are unwell in hospital.

Point-of-care testing (POCT) takes place near to where a patient is being cared for and is carried out by healthcare professionals. POCT examples include blood sugar monitoring and pregnancy tests.

A team of researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE) developed a new type of test to help healthcare professionals quickly identify patients at risk of becoming severely unwell because of an exacerbation in airways disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This new type of test looks for certain biomarkers in saliva that could be used in the future to help predict if a patient’s condition is likely to worsen. Biomarkers are biological molecules found in the body and can be used to identify certain conditions or diseases.

We want to check whether the technology developed at UWE works and could be useful in a clinical setting. We will do this by using UWE’s POCT to analyse saliva samples taken from patients with respiratory infections for the AvonCAP study and deposited in the Bristol Biobank.

We hope that our work will lead to improvements in how accurately healthcare professionals are able to predict exacerbations in airways disease and support self-management in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In turn, we hope that this will reduce hospitalisations and pressure on NHS services due to exacerbations of airways disease.

Work on this project will be carried out in collaboration with UWE.