Peptest has been used to identify a link between gastric reflux and flare-ups in patients with serious lung disease.

In a new study, Peptest identified the presence of the enzyme pepsin in the saliva of two-thirds of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

Researchers at product development company Technostics said its findings present further evidence that there is an association between gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Pepsin is the enzyme responsible for digestion and is only found in the stomach. If found outside the stomach, such as in the throat or mouth, then it has been refluxed.

Vicki Strugala, senior project manager at Technostics, said: “Peptest is a good tool to provide a rapid objective measure of reflux to investigate the role of GORD in the COPD patient population.”

“Using Peptest, Pepsin has been detected in the saliva of 66.7 per cent of COPD patients, which adds further credence to the proposal that there is an association between GORD and exacerbation of COPD.”

“While not the causative factor, it’s clear that further investigation is needed to ascertain the role of reflux in COPD relapse or exacerbations.”

Technostic’s findings were recently presented at the Primary Care Respiratory Society UK annual meeting, on 26-27 September in Leicester.