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Apr 2021 Journal of oral microbiology

Salivette, a relevant saliva sampling device for SARS-CoV-2 detection.


Melo Costa M, Benoit N, Dormoi J, Amalvict R, Gomez N, Tissot-Dupont H, Million M, Pradines B, Granjeaud S, Almeras L


The gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis relies on quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase-chain reaction (RT-qPCR) from nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) specimens, but NPSs present several limitations. The simplicity, low invasive and possibility of self-collection of saliva imposed these specimens as a relevant alternative for SARS-CoV-2 detection. However, the discrepancy of saliva test results compared to NPSs made of its use controversial. Here, we assessed Salivettes®, as a standardized saliva collection device, and compared SARS-CoV-2 positivity on paired NPS and saliva specimens. A total of 303 individuals randomly selected among those investigated for SARS-CoV-2 were enrolled, including 30 (9.9%) patients previously positively tested using NPS (follow-up group), 90 (29.7%) mildly symptomatic and 183 (60.4%) asymptomatic. The RT-qPCR revealed a positive rate of 11.6% (n = 35) and 17.2% (n = 52) for NPSs and saliva samples, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of saliva samples were 82.9% and 91.4%, respectively, using NPS as reference. The highest proportion of discordant results concerned the follow-up group (33.3%). Although the agreement exceeded 90.0% in the symptomatic and asymptomatic groups, 17 individuals were detected positive only in saliva samples, with consistent medical arguments. Saliva collected with Salivette® was more sensitive for detecting symptomatic and pre-symptomatic infections.

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