New York: Saliva test for the detection of Covid-19 does better than the nose and mouth swab tests approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a study.
The Rockefeller University study conducted a head-to-head comparison of 162 people who received both the “DRUL” saliva test and a conventional swab test. DRUL recorded all cases that the smears identified as positive – plus four positive cases that completely missed the smears.
“This research confirms that the test we have developed is sensitive and safe,” said Robert B. Darnell, professor and director of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology.
“It’s inexpensive, has provided excellent surveillance within the Rockefeller community, and has the potential to improve community safety as the pandemic drags on,” added Darnell.
The study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that the DRUL test offers several advantages. It’s Safe – a test that can be done at home and sent to the laboratory in a transport medium that kills viruses on contact. It’s efficient.
However, it’s inexpensive and costs around $ 2 per test. (By comparison, Medicare currently pays up to $ 100 for each commercial test performed.) But it was convenient to provide a sample by simply spitting into a cup.
The data from this study, previously submitted as part of the New York state approval process, showed that DRUL outperformed, and in most cases, outperformed the widely used tests it was compared to, the researchers said.
The researchers first assessed the limit of detection of DRUL – how many copies of the virus the test can detect per volume of fluid. The test was able to detect a single virus particle in one microliter of saliva, a number comparable to that of the most sensitive assays. The laboratory then performed 30 nasal swabs via its novel test platform that tested positive for Covid-19. DRUL caught all 30.