A Point-of-Care Diagnostic Tool to Replace Chest X-Ray for the Diagnosis of Childhood Pneumonia


University of Alberta researchers have discovered a novel set of biomarkers which can be used to diagnose pneumonia in children. The biomarkers include chitinase-3-like-1 (CHI3L1), lipocalin-2 (LCN-2), C-reactive protein (CRP), tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease-1 (TIMP-1), and surfactant protein-D (SP-D). The results from a clinical field study show that the expression of these protein biomarkers in patients is correlated with signs of lobar pneumonia and with the need for antibiotic treatment. The biomarkers can be adapted to a fingerprick test for point-of-care diagnosis of pneumonia. Given the global burden of pediatric pneumonia, a rapid and inexpensive diagnostic test that could be used in environments without access to radiology or central laboratory support could transform the management and outcome of childhood pneumonia.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality in children under 5 years globally and a major cause of hospitalization of children across North America. Accurate diagnosis is critical for the appropriate and judicious use of antibiotics, and is challenging in settings without easy access to a chest x-ray.



  • Could replace chest X-rays for pneumonia diagnosis in low resource settings.
  • Provides a unique approach for pneumonia diagnosis independent of etiology.


Potential Markets

We are seeking diagnostic companies for collaborative development and licensing.

Protection Status

Patent Pending

Product Number


Contact Information

Megha Bajaj
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-7739
​Email: megha.bajaj@tecedmonton.com