Saliva test for detecting the Covid-19 disease could be as close or even more accurate than nasal swabs according to researchers from the Yale University.
According to the researchers, their findings suggests that saliva samples could be used for the at-home coronavirus test on a large scale nationally. The findings was released on Wednesday though not being reviewed by peers yet and would also require further validation, this might be the next big ways of doing the home coronavirus test.
There is currently the pressure to increase the number of daily tests conducted and numerous techniques needs to be tried out which possibly led to the advent of this findings. The study comes on heels of approval by the FDA and we could see positive results in coming weeks.
The need to further increase the number of testings done on the daily basis as well as contact tracing of infected people will ensure people going back to work when the country finally gets re-opened so that the lock-down doesn’t just go into waste.
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The study notes that testing that relies on long nasal swabs has been “the current gold standard for Covid-19 diagnosis.” The authors further added that there has been a need to come up with new types of tests because of the “low sensitivity” seen in some test results using swabs.
Another problem with relying on nasal swabs, they noted, is the risk of exposing health-care workers to infected people because of the need to have close contact during the sample collection. They also said there was a global shortage of swabs and personal protective equipment.
But unlike saliva, using this for the coronavirus test will be slightly safer as it is minimally invasive and can reliably be self administered by anyone anytime. And “saliva has exhibited comparable sensitivity to nasopharyngeal swabs in detection of other respiratory pathogens,” added the authors of the findings.
The study compared the saliva-based test results against test of nasal swab samples from confirmed patients of Covid-19 as well as self-collected samples from healthcare workers. The authors made it known that they were able to collect about 44 samples from Covid-19 study participants and also tested 121 self-collected saliva or nasal swabs from healthcare workers.
“When we compared SARS-CoV-2 detection from patient-matched nasopharyngeal and saliva samples, we found that saliva yielded greater detection sensitivity and consistency throughout the course of infection,” the authors wrote.
“Furthermore, we report less variability in self-sample collection of saliva,” the authors wrote.
“Taken together, our findings demonstrate that saliva is a viable and more sensitive alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs and could enable at-home self-administered sample collection for accurate large-scale SARS-CoV-2 testing.”
This study was published right after the first at-home test kit was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
This past week, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for a coronavirus test relying on saliva samples which was made by a Rutgers university-backed entity. This newly authorized test requires someone with the coronavirus symptoms to spit into a cup. That could increase the number of tests done per day to about 10,000 according to Rutgers.
With more findings and optimistic results, dealing with the cases of the outbreak might easy as people are preparing to return back to their daily lives before the national lockdown. As of today, there are more than 2.5 million reported cases worldwide with 178 thousand deaths worldwide showing the devastating effect of the pandemic.