Saliva test detects Covid-19 in 5 minutes

A proof of concept for a new, fast and portable saliva screening test used to confirm infection of Covid-19 has been achieved.

The international research led by Monash University and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity has been published in Angewandte Chemie.

“The most significant advantages of using this infrared-based technology on saliva samples, include the speed and ease with which the test can be performed, it’s affordability and the reduced risk to both patients and healthcare workers,” Professor Bayden Wood from the Monash University School of Chemistry says.

It’s very encouraging preliminary research according to scientists, who are keen to see further testing with a larger patient cohort to better understand the specificity of this approach.

Professor Wood estimates that this technique could be capable of screening 5000 samples per day per instrument, with results for each sample being ready in five minutes.

Professor Dale Godrey says, “The approach has significant advantages over the standard Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) that is the current gold standard for detection.”

Adding to the positives of this new concept, Professor Purcell says it can avoid the discomfort of nasopharyngeal swabs.

“A person can contribute the sample by simply dribbling into a sterile container,” he says.

Despite multiple techniques being used in validating the approach, Professor Wood carried out much of the initial work using the infrared micro spectroscopy beamline at the Australian Synchrotron (AS), with support from the beamline team.

Read more research using DOI: 10.1002/anie.202104453 and 10.1002/ange.202104453

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