September 29, 2022

Saliva Testing for COVID-19 Is Quicker and Safer Than Nasal Swabs

The research was encouraged by the issue that early in the pandemic, an immediate requirement to increase testing was accompanied by a shortage of products, notably nasal swabs, which were then the standard method for gathering samples for testing.
To recognize individuals with COVID-19 the private investigators began conducting weekly tests of saliva samples from healthy neighborhood volunteers in May 2020 and continued over the next 2 years. Of the asymptomatic volunteers who evaluated favorable, Milton and his coworkers found that those clients would normally reveal symptoms a day or 2 later. “That made us question whether saliva was much better for catching pre-symptomatic patients than the conventional nasal swabs,” he said.
To address that concern, the researchers used information from a buddy research study of close contacts of people with verified cases of COVID-19. In the study, “We collected saliva and mid-turbinate [nasal] swab samples from contacts every 2 or 3 days throughout their quarantine duration,” stated Milton. “All samples were checked utilizing real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR] to identify SARS-CoV-2 and determine how much viral RNA was in the samples. We then evaluated how these results altered in the days prior to and after sign onset.”
” Early in the course of infection, saliva was substantially more sensitive than mid-turbinate nasal swabs,” especially so before beginning of symptoms, according to the study, which kept in mind that previous studies had actually revealed that pre-symptomatic transmission plays a higher role than symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The findings have implications for improving public approval of COVID-19 screening, minimizing the expense of mass COVID-19 screening and improving the safety of healthcare workers who perform screening. In the latter case, saliva self-testing prevents the close contact in between patient and health care employee that nasal swabbing involves and prevents causing patients to sneeze and cough, thereby spreading virus particles as an outcome of swabbing the sensitive nasal passages, as well as pain to clients.
” Our research supports making use of saliva in massive screening in schools and workplaces, as a method of enhancing screening rates, along with early detection,” stated Milton. “We expect that if fast saliva tests become readily available, they could be a major advance from the current nasal swab-based fast tests.”
Reference: “Comparison of Saliva and Midturbinate Swabs for Detection of SARS-CoV-2” by Jianyu Lai, Jennifer German, Filbert Hong, S.-H. Sheldon Tai, Kathleen M. McPhaul and Donald K. Milton for the University of Maryland StopCOVID Research Group, 21 March 2022, Microbiology Spectrum.DOI: 10.1128/ spectrum.00128-22.

To recognize people with COVID-19 the investigators began carrying out weekly tests of saliva samples from healthy neighborhood volunteers in May 2020 and continued over the next 2 years. Of the asymptomatic volunteers who tested favorable, Milton and his associates discovered that those patients would normally show signs a day or 2 later. “That made us question whether saliva was better for catching pre-symptomatic clients than the conventional nasal swabs,” he said.
To answer that question, the researchers utilized information from a companion study of close contacts of individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Genetic testing of saliva samples identifies the SARS-CoV-2 virus quicker than testing of nasal swabs. The research is published today (March 21, 2022) in Microbiology Spectrum, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
” That is very important due to the fact that people can spread out COVID-19 prior to they know that they have it,” stated coauthor Donald K. Milton, M.D., DrPH, a professor of occupational and environmental health at the Institute for Applied Environmental Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park. “Earlier detection can decrease the illnesss spread.”

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