Saliva Equals Nasal Swab for COVID Test Accuracy

Saliva Equals Nasal Swab for COVID Test Accuracy

By Cara Murez
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A self-collected saliva example is as proficient at spotting COVID-19 as a nasal swab carried out by a healthcare employee — without revealing clinical team to the infection while gathering the example.

“The current pandemic has placed a significant strain on the supply chain, from swabs to the personal protective equipment [PPE] health care workers need to safely collect samples,” described lead detective Esther Babady, supervisor of the Clinical Microbiology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. “The use of self-collected saliva has the potential to minimize health care worker exposure and decrease the need for specialized collection devices, such as swabs and viral transport media.”

The saliva examinations spotted the infection’ hereditary product in saliva examples at comparable prices as swabs that gathered product with the mouth or nose. They were additionally steady for approximately 24-hour when saved with ice bag or at space temperature level.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering gathered examples from 285 staff members in between April 4 and also May 11, at the optimal of the New York City break out. The individuals had signs and symptoms of the infection or had actually been revealed to it.

Each of the individuals gave a set of examples. Some were asked to do a nasopharyngeal swab gathered with the nose and also a saliva example. Some gave an oropharyngeal swab gathered with the mouth and also saliva. Others gave the nasopharyngeal swab and also an example from a dental rinse, one more collection approach that was being checked.

Researchers discovered that the arrangement in between the saliva and also swab carried out with the mouth was 93%, which level of sensitivity was 96.7%. The swab carried out with the nose and also saliva had an outcome arrangement of 97.7%, with level of sensitivity of 94.1%. The dental rinse was just 63% efficient at spotting the infection. The arrangement in between the nasal swab and also the dental rinse was 85.7%.

Nasal swabs and also saliva with a series of viral tons were saved both at space temperature level and also in a cooler. Researchers spotted no distinction in focus at the time of collection, 8 hrs later on or 24-hour later on.


The research was released online just recently in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

The searchings for hold excellent pledge for wide screening approaches that would certainly minimize threat of infection for healthcare employees while protecting PPE, Babady stated.

“The current ‘test, track and trace’ public health approach to surveillance relies heavily on testing for both diagnosis and surveillance,” she stated in a journal press release.

“The use of self-collected saliva provides a cheaper and less-invasive option for viable sample collection. It’s certainly easier to spit in a cup twice a week than undergoing frequent nasopharyngeal swabs,” Babady stated. “This can improve patient compliance and satisfaction particularly for surveillance testing, which requires frequent sample collection. Since we also showed that the virus was stable at room temperature for at least 24 hours, saliva collection has potential for use at home.”

More info

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and also Prevention supplies extra on screening for COVID-19.

RESOURCE: The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, press release, December 2020

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