This recent article in the New York Times discusses the growth of saliva-based tests for the diagnosis of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Currently, the most widely employed diagnostic tests use nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs. While many NP swab tests can yield results in minutes, swab testing of the deep nasal passages can be unpleasant, requires the involvement of a medical professional wearing appropriate protective attire and can be hampered by false negative results due to incorrect sampling. In contrast, saliva tests are easy to self-administer, require no special equipment and may make it easier to detect virus more reliably. The number of testing sites offering saliva tests are growing, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an emergency-use authorization, to a saliva test made by a Rutgers University lab. Currently, these tests must be performed under the supervision of a medical professional, even for testing at home – a telemedicine visit during sample collection will suffice. The development of another viable, user-friendly option for COVID-19 testing is welcome.
Please click here to read the full article about the new saliva test for COVID-19.