Saliva Test Can Detect COVID Variants

Saliva Test Can Detect COVID Variants

That was the aim & possibility of newer COVID-19 testing relying on saliva which is presently being developed.

That’s all, in less than a minute you’ll know not only whether you have COVID-19, but also the version you have, all while visiting your house.

“Several at-home tests are available for telling you whether you have COVID-19, but none of them test for variants,” said study author Dr. Xiao Tan, a clinical fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, in Boston.

The day when the first case of Covid-19 was registered, the testing for the same has been a big concern. From Rapid antigen, experts could find only the presence of virus in the respiratory system but it was also much needed to know the variant as several variants of the same virus is responsible for spreading.

Saliva Test Can Detect COVID Variants

Now with the help of a saliva test, it will be easy to detect if one is infected with a delta variant which is more dangerous compared to other variants. This will help the doctors to decide quick actions. 

Here were no intentions to commercialize the testing just now but recent proof-of-concept research reveals that it performs just as good as gold standards PCR testing but might price as little as $3 for each check, which is a deal less as the COVID-19 household testing now accessible.

“By contrast, COVID-19 tests based on PCR technology require highly specialized equipment and can take roughly four hours for results. If a sample were to be tested for a specific variant using PCR technology, it would have to be genetically sequenced, which takes even more time and resources”, Tan explained.

Saliva Test Can Detect COVID Variants

Many COVID-19 examinations were now accessible for use at homes. Many testing needs specimens are to be submitted to a laboratory for examination, whereas others use technology including testing chips or processed fluids to offer findings at homes. There is no PCR testing that could be run at homes.

The scientists analyzed saliva specimens from 27 persons with COVID-19 and 21 individuals who did not have the infection for the investigation. The testing correctly detected the infection 96 percent of the time, which would be comparable to PCR assays. Furthermore, the testing identified 3 separate COVID-19 versions: UK, South African, and Brazilian variants.

“The test could also be used in areas that don’t have access to genetic sequencing facilities”, said study author Dr. Rose Lee, an instructor in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Next, you remove the filter and transfer it to the reaction chamber. “The virus is the key that unlocks the signal,” Tan said. “If there is no virus, there is no signal, but if there is a signal, it can be amplified.”

The research was reported in the journal Science Advances on August 6th.

“This is the first point-of-care test that can determine variants, and it can be adapted for other kinds of variants as they emerge,” said Dr. Jeffrey SoRelle, a pathologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas. “There is no difference in management based on the variant, but it is possible there may be a variant that will require us to change our treatment in the future.”

Dr. Heba Mostafa, an assistant professor of pathology and director of the molecular virology lab at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, agreed. “The question is how valuable it is to have a point-of-care test that targets a specific variant, and the answer is not clear because variants are not actionable for patient management,” she said.

Mostafa stated that such data is more relevant on a bigger level in order to properly monitor changes as they propagate over the world.


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