William R. Bishai, MD, PhD and Graham S. Timmins, PhD
Roles for urease in virulence are accepted for Helicobacter pylori and urinary tract pathogens. However,
urease is widely expressed by bacterial and fungal lung pathogens causing emerging and opportunistic
lung infections, organisms causing acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, mycobacterial lung
diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), and ventilator associated pneumonia and health care associated
pneumonia. Detection of urease provides a method for rapid in vivo detection of these lung pathogens
by inhaled 13C- breath test, and this review discusses the range of lung pathogens that might be
amenable to rapid diagnosis.