FDA approves rapid, inexpensive saliva test for novel coronavirus

News: United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has approved SalivaDirect test for Covid19.

Facts:

  • Who developed the test? The SalivaDirect test has been developed by researchers from Yale School of Public Health in partnership with the National Basketball Association(NBA).
  • How is the test different? SalivaDirect test uses saliva samples as opposed to the more invasive nasopharyngeal swabs.
  • What is the testing Procedure? The collection and testing of saliva samples involves three steps — collecting saliva without preservative buffers, proteinase K treatment and heat inactivation and dualplex RT-qPCR virus detection.
  • Significance:
    • The testing can detect the virus even when the number of virus copies in the saliva sample is as low as 6-12 copies per microlitre.
    • The test is affordable when compared to other tests of Covid-19.
    • The testing makes sample collection non-invasive and reduces the need for trained healthcare workers to collect the samples, reducing the risk of infection during collection.
    • This test is more accurate when compared to tests using nasopharyngeal swabs which sometimes leads to false negative results due to errors at the time of sample collection.
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