Saliva COVID tests appear as accurate as nasal swabs

covid saliva test x
Credit: University of Wisconsin Madison

Two new studies have found that tests that look for the virus in samples of saliva are about as reliable as tests that require a sample from the back of the nose.

That’s sure to be a welcome development to anyone who would rather avoid the discomfort of having a long, stiff swab inserted so far back into their nasal cavity that it feels like it’s tickling their brain.

But it’s not the only benefit. Pretty much anyone can administer a saliva-based test, so there’s no need for a trip to a testing center. It also frees up the time of medical personnel and spares them potential exposure to the virus.

In one of the new studies, a team from Yale identified 70 hospital patients with COVID-19 whose infections had been confirmed with the traditional nasopharyngeal swabs. Each time a healthcare worker carried out additional nasal swab tests, the researchers asked the patients to give themselves a saliva test as well.

Related article:  The promise of genetic engineering in medicine could be threatened by 'bad press'

The saliva tests did a better job of detecting the virus formally known as SARS-CoV-2, the researchers found. In the first five days after diagnosis, 81% of the saliva tests came back positive, compared with 71% of the nasopharyngeal tests.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

“Given the growing need for testing, our findings provide support for the potential of saliva specimens in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the Yale team wrote.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend