Researchers from RUCDR Infinite Biologics at Rutgers University have validated saliva as a viable biosample source for COVID-19 detection when compared to nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, according to a press release from test manufacturer Spectrum Solutions LLC.
RCDR researchers used the Spectrum DNA SDNA-1000 Whole Saliva Collection Device to compare swab-collected biosamples head-to-head against saliva biosamples. According to researchers, saliva demonstrated to be a robust source of viral RNA.
According to Rutgers RUCDR, it has submitted an emergency use authorization request for the test to the FDA.
“Our side-by-side test comparison of over 75 patient samples demonstrated that the use of saliva to extract viral RNA was in fact a robust source for COVID-19 detection and equal in performance to the approved swab-based collection samples,” said Andrew Brooks, PhD COO, RUCDR Infinite Biologics and Professor of Genetics at Rutgers University. “In addition, the preservation solution from the Spectrum whole saliva collection device preserved the COVID-19 viral RNA for testing enabling for easier logistics from sample collection to the testing laboratory.”
Saliva testing is a new development that under a medical provider’s direction, allows for simple self-administered sample collection that even those in quarantine or self-isolation can use. Adding in the capability for self-collection uncovers additional opportunity to protect medical teams helping to reduce the risk of further exposure and spread, opposed to nasal swab biosample collection requiring up close medical assistance.
“These exciting results have a tremendous impact on testing. We encourage any clinical laboratory or reference laboratory wanting to validate our protocols and submit for their EUA testing approval to contact Spectrum for guidance. The more of us approved for testing, the faster we can deliver testing relief to those desperately waiting for answers,” said Brooks.
RUCDR has also released a genetic diagnostic test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in collaboration with Accurate Diagnostic Labs. The diagnostic is currently available to the RWJBarnabas Health network, including Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, University Hospital in Newark and others.