Sensitive detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva.

Published on Jun 14, 2021in Scientific Reports4.38
· DOI :10.1038/S41598-021-91835-7
Mustafa Fatih Abasiyanik7
Estimated H-index: 7
(U of C: University of Chicago)
Saliva has significant advantages as a test medium for detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients, such as ease of collection, minimal requirement of supplies and trained personnel, and safety. Comprehensive validation in a large cohort of prospectively collected specimens with unknown SARS-CoV-2 status should be performed to evaluate the potential and limitations of saliva-based testing. We developed a saliva-based testing pipeline for detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids using real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) readouts, and measured samples from 137 outpatients tested at a curbside testing facility and 29 inpatients hospitalized for COVID-19. These measurements were compared to the nasal swab results for each patient performed by a certified microbiology laboratory. We found that our saliva testing positively detects 100% (RT-PCR) and 93.75% (ddPCR) of curbside patients that were identified as SARS-CoV-2 positive by the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) certified nasal swab testing assay. Quantification of viral loads by ddPCR revealed an extremely wide range, with 1 million-fold difference between individual patients. Our results demonstrate for both community screening and hospital settings that saliva testing reliability is on par with that of the nasal swabs in detecting infected cases, and has potential for higher sensitivity when combined with ddPCR in detecting low-abundance viral loads that evade traditional testing methods.
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#1Kévin Cassinari (French Institute of Health and Medical Research)H-Index: 6
#2Elodie Alessandri-Gradt (University of Rouen)H-Index: 6
Last. Thierry Frebourg (French Institute of Health and Medical Research)H-Index: 84
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Last. Samira Mubareka (U of T: University of Toronto)H-Index: 25
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#2Siriorn P. Watcharananan (MU: Mahidol University)H-Index: 13
Last. Angsana Phuphuakrat (MU: Mahidol University)H-Index: 10
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#2Valeria CentoH-Index: 21
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#2Nicolò Musso (University of Catania)H-Index: 17
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Reverse transcription­quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT­qPCR) is the gold standard method for the diagnosis of COVID­19 infection. Due to pre­analytical and technical limitations, samples with low viral load are often misdiagnosed as false­negative samples. Therefore, it is important to evaluate other strategies able to overcome the limits of RT­qPCR. Blinded swab samples from two individuals diagnosed positive and negative for COVID­19 were analyzed by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and R...
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#2John B. FournierH-Index: 19
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Saliva Specimens to Detect SARS-CoV-2 Infection In this letter, the investigators report that saliva specimens and nasopharyngeal swab specimens had similar sensitivity in the detection of SARS-CoV...
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