Array-based gas sensors now offer the potential of a robust analytical approach to odor measurement for medical use. We are developing a fast reliable method for detection of microbial infection by monitoring the headspace from the infected wound. In this paper, we present initial results obtained from wound-state monitoring for burn patients using an electronic nose incorporating an automated solid-phase microextraction (SPME) desorption system to enable the system to be used for clinical validation. SPME preconcentration is used for sampling of the headspace air and the response of the sensor module to variable concentrations of volatiles emitted from SPME fiber is evaluated. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry studies prove that living bacteria, the typical infectious agents in clinical practice, can be distinguished from each other by means of a limited set of key volatile products. Principal component analysis results give the first indication that infected patients may be distinguished from uninfected patients. Microbial laboratory analysis using clinical samples verifies the performance of the system.