Dr Jane Hill, one of the US scientists from the University of Vermont, said:
Traditional methods employed to diagnose bacterial infections of the lung require the collection of a sample that is then used to grow bacteria.
The isolated colony of bacteria is then biochemically tested to classify it and to see how resistant it is to antibiotics.
This whole process can take days for some of the common bacteria and even weeks for the causative agent for tuberculosis.
Breath analysis would reduce the time-to-diagnosis to just minutes.
More top news
A weather warning is in place across the south-east with heavy rainfall expected. Elsewhere there will be plenty of sunshine around.
Britain's Lewis Hamilton will join an elite club of double Formula One champions if he can secure a top-two finish in Abu Dhabi today.
A naked man fell through the ceiling of a women's toilet at a US airport before fleeing and "viciously assaulting" an elderly man.