Self-gathered salivation and profound nasal swabs are similarly powerful for recognizing SARS-CoV-2

Self-gathered salivation and profound nasal swabs are similarly powerful for recognizing SARS-CoV-2


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: University of Utah Health

  • Date: 23 Aug,2020

The analysis, published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, signifies one of the biggest prospective specimen type comparisons to date, stated Julio Delgado, MD, MS, ARUP principal medical officer.

Researchers also found that specimens self-collected in the front part of the nose are somewhat less powerful than deep nasal swabs for virus discovery. This finding prompted a subsequent study which hasn’t yet been published by which researchers learned they could improve the sensitivity of anterior nasal swab testing to 98% by combining an anterior nasal pouch with a swab collected from the back of the throat.

The results have significant implications for patients and providers. The collection procedure for saliva and anterior nasal specimens is less invasive than the deep nasal, or nasopharyngeal, swab. Additionally, both specimen forms could be self-collected, lowering the danger of exposure for health care workers who collect nasopharyngeal specimens, said Kimberly Hanson, MD, MPH, department chief of clinical microbiology at ARUP and the principal author of the analysis.

Saliva and nasal swab self-collection can resolve many of the resource and safety issues involved in SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing.”-Julio Delgado, MD, MS, ARUP Chief Medical Officer

ARUP and U of U Health anticipate being able to start supplying testing on saliva in some U of U Health clinical configurations in early September. They already are using anterior nasal swabs in conjunction with throat swabs to check a few asymptomatic individuals.

COVID-19 testing on those options to nasopharyngeal swabs increases with time, Delgado said. “From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ARUP has worked tirelessly to build capacity for high-quality COVID-19 testing,” he explained. “Our purpose is to make this testing accessible to hospitals and health care systems nationwide.

Hanson and her colleagues examined over 1,100 specimens from 368 volunteers in the U of U Health Redwood Health Center drive-through testing website from late May through June. Volunteers self-collected saliva they spit into a tube and swabbed in the front of both nostrils to produce specimens for testing. The researchers compared test results from these specimen types with evaluation results from nasopharyngeal swabs healthcare suppliers collected from the volunteers. Discrepant results across specimens collected from precisely the exact same patient triggered repeat testing using a second polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based platform.

The study demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 was detected in at least two specimen types in 90 percent of those patients that tested positive for the virus.

As a standalone choice specimen to nasopharyngeal swabs, saliva was shown to be an excellent option, Hanson explained. Positivity rates for saliva specimens were nearly the same as those for nasopharyngeal specimens.

The research showed that self-collected nasal swabs, when used alone, can miss almost 15% of infections, which prompted researchers’ further research combining them with oropharyngeal, or throat swabs.

“We value the investigators in ARUP, in addition to the patients and staff at our Redwood testing center who’ve engaged in this discovery,” he explained.

Journal reference:

Hanson, K.E., et al. (2020) Self-Collected Anterior Nasal and Saliva Specimens versus Healthcare Worker-Collected Nasopharyngeal Swabs for the Molecular Detection of SARS-CoV-2. Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

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