The team's COVID-19 saliva test is about as accurate as a commonly used nasal swab, according to a new Yale University study.
The researchers say their findings suggest that saliva samples could be used in a wide range of home COVID-19 tests.
Nasal swab test is the standard to confirm the diagnosis of COVID-19, but the results of nasal swab test have low sensitivity, and during the sample collection, the medical staff need to be in close contact with the infected person, there is a risk of exposure. Coupled with a global shortage of swabs and protective equipment, the Yale univestry researchers think that it is necessary to find new method.
For the new study, the Yale team collected saliva samples from 44 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and 121 samples of saliva and nasal swabs taken by health care workers for accuracy. The results showed that the saliva detection had higher detection sensitivity and consistency, and the variability was less when the saliva sample was collected.
"Taken together, our results suggest that saliva is a viable and more sensitive alternative to nasal swabs that can be self-collected at home for accurate large-scale testing." "The researchers wrote in the paper. Last week, the U.S. food and drug administration approved a COVID-19 saliva test forEmergency access granted, developed with support from rutgers university.
Rutgers says the urgently authorized saliva test could increase screening for COVID-19 to 10,000 times a day.
But health officials and doctors remain skeptical about the results of the tests produced by the saliva samples, arguing that nasal swab is more accurate. The Yale study comes as a powerful addition to the salivary test.
However, the Yale study has not been peer-reviewed and needs to be validated before it can be scaled up.