Audio Interview

An FDA approved salivary test for SARS-CoV-2 infection

Published on May 5, 2020   8 min

Other Talks in the Series: Research and Clinical Interviews

Interviewer: Hello Professor Brooks, thank you for taking the time today to discuss this new FDA-approved saliva test for SARS-CoV-2. Could you firstly give an overview of the technology used in this diagnostic test? Prof. Brooks: Sure, our emergency use authorization for COVID-19 testing is based around using saliva as the primary material, which is primarily different than either the nasopharyngeal or pharyngeal swabs that are being used currently. The reason for developing a test around using saliva is not only to increase the robustness of the collection, to improve ease of use and make less pain and less discomfort for the patient, but also to get around the problem of putting a medical professional in harm's way or increasing their risk of infection by being six inches away from the face of somebody that is symptomatic. It also reduces the amount of personal protective equipment that's required by about 90%, and enables collection anywhere anytime, which is going to be essential for repeated testing. Downstream of using the saliva, the test is very similar to the same laboratory type of test that's used for other biomaterials where we extract viral RNA, we then do quantitative PCR to determine whether or not there are viral transcripts present. If there are, that would determine that the patient is infected and is still shedding virus and should take extra precautions in isolation so as not to infect anybody else. Interviewer: What were some of the main steps taken to develop this test? Prof. Brooks: Some of the main steps taken to develop this test

An FDA approved salivary test for SARS-CoV-2 infection

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