Saliva sample as a non-invasive specimen for the diagnosis of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19): a cross-sectional study.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2020 May 15;:
Authors: Pasomsub E, Watcharananan SP, Boonyawat K, Janchompoo P, Wongtabtim G, Suksuwan W, Sungkanuparph S, Phuphuakrat A
OBJECTIVES: Amid the increasing number of pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, there is a need for a quick and easy method to obtain a non-invasive sample for the detection of this novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2). We aimed to investigate the potential use of saliva samples as a non-invasive tool for the diagnosis of COVID-19.
METHODS: From 27 March to 4 April, 2020, we prospectively collected saliva samples and a standard nasopharyngeal and throat swab in persons seeking care at an acute respiratory infection clinic in a university hospital during the outbreak of COVID-19. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed, and the results of the two specimens were compared.
RESULTS: Two-hundred pairs of the samples were collected. Sixty-nine (34.5%) patients were male, and the median (interquartile) age was 36 (28-48) years. Using nasopharyngeal and throat swab RT-PCR as the reference standard, the prevalence of COVID-19 diagnosed by nasopharyngeal and throat swab RT-PCR was 9.5%. The sensitivity and specificity of the saliva sample RT-PCR were 84.2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 60.4%-96.6%], and 98.9% (95% CI 96.1%-99.9%), respectively. An analysis of the agreement between the two specimens demonstrated 97.5% observed agreement (kappa coefficient 0.851, 95% CI 0.723-0.979; p <0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Saliva might be an alternative specimen for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The collection is non-invasive, and non-aerosol generating. This method could facilitate the diagnosis of the disease, given the simplicity of specimen collection and good diagnostic performance.
PMID: 32422408 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]