SARS-CoV-2 Detection in Saliva Samples is Sensitive and Consistent

May 06, 2020 | Biotechnology

Reading time: 3-4 minutes

To keep you updated on the latest Biotech industry news, Lab.Equipment has curated this article from GEN for you:

Researchers are working around the clock, innovating ways to improve the COVID-19 testing process. Recently, a group of researchers from Yale University presented findings that suggest that one improvement could be made right at the beginning of the testing process—in the choice of the sample to be tested. Although the current gold standard is to use samples collected from nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS), the group found that using saliva for SARS-CoV-2 detection is more sensitive and consistent than using a nasopharyngeal swab. They assert that saliva should be considered as a reliable sample type to improve COVID-19 testing.

The work is published as a preprint in MedRxiv. The title of the preprint (a paper that has not yet gone through the peer review process) is “Saliva is more sensitive for SARS-CoV-2 detection in COVID-19 patients than nasopharyngeal swabs.”

Currently available SARS-CoV-2 detection tests suffer from multiple challenges including low sensitivity and reliance on swabs. In addition, swab collection requires close contact between the healthcare worker performing the collection and the patient, which poses a health risk to healthcare workers. Using saliva for COVID-19 testing has several advantages when compared to collection of nasopharyngeal swabs. Saliva collection does not require specialized swabs or tubes, is far less uncomfortable for the patient, and may even be done independently by the patient–potentially alleviating the current overwhelming demand for healthcare workers. Indeed, in this study, the saliva samples were self-collected by the patient. The process is described as, “upon waking, patients were asked to avoid food, water, and brushing of teeth until the sample was collected. Patients were asked to repeatedly spit into a sterile urine cup until roughly a third full of liquid... View the full article at the GEN Blog.

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