Saliva Equals Nasal Swab for COVID Test Accuracy

By Cara Murez
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. eleven, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A self-gathered saliva sample is as good at detecting COVID-19 as a nasal swab administered by a health and fitness care worker — devoid of exposing healthcare staff members to the virus even though amassing the sample.

“The existing pandemic has put a important strain on the offer chain, from swabs to the individual protective devices [PPE] health and fitness care workers want to safely and securely collect samples,” described direct investigator Esther Babady, director of the Clinical Microbiology Support at Memorial Sloan Kettering Most cancers Middle in New York Town. “The use of self-gathered saliva has the possible to reduce health and fitness care worker publicity and reduce the want for specialized collection gadgets, these as swabs and viral transport media.”

The saliva assessments detected the virus’ genetic materials in saliva samples at similar charges as swabs that gathered materials via the mouth or nose. They were being also steady for up to 24 hrs when saved with ice packs or at place temperature.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering gathered samples from 285 workers between April 4 and May perhaps eleven, at the peak of the New York Town outbreak. The members had indications of the virus or had been exposed to it.

Just about every of the members supplied a pair of samples. Some were being asked to do a nasopharyngeal swab gathered via the nose and a saliva sample. Some supplied an oropharyngeal swab gathered via the mouth and saliva. Many others supplied the nasopharyngeal swab and a sample from an oral rinse, an additional collection method that was staying analyzed.

Researchers discovered that the settlement between the saliva and swab administered via the mouth was ninety three%, and that sensitivity was 96.7%. The swab administered via the nose and saliva had a consequence settlement of 97.7%, with sensitivity of ninety The oral rinse was only 63% successful at detecting the virus. The settlement between the nasal swab and the oral rinse was 85.7%.

Nasal swabs and saliva with a assortment of viral loads were being saved both at place temperature and in a cooler. Researchers detected no variance in focus at the time of collection, eight hrs later or 24 hrs later.


The examine was printed on the web recently in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

The findings maintain good assure for wide testing strategies that would mitigate hazard of an infection for health and fitness care workers even though preserving PPE, Babady mentioned.

“The existing ‘test, monitor and trace’ general public health and fitness method to surveillance depends closely on testing for both diagnosis and surveillance,” she mentioned in a journal information launch.

“The use of self-gathered saliva delivers a less expensive and less-invasive possibility for practical sample collection. It’s absolutely much easier to spit in a cup twice a 7 days than undergoing regular nasopharyngeal swabs,” Babady mentioned. “This can strengthen affected individual compliance and pleasure notably for surveillance testing, which requires regular sample collection. Due to the fact we also showed that the virus was steady at place temperature for at least 24 hrs, saliva collection has possible for use at dwelling.”

Much more information

The U.S. Facilities for Condition Management and Prevention offers additional on testing for COVID-19.

Resource: The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, information launch, December 2020

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