Saliva as a Non-Invasive Sample for Molecular Detection of SARS- CoV-2

  • Eijaz Ghani Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Faraz Ahmed Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Saifullah Khan Niazi Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Misbah Noor Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Noman Shakoor Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Hammad Hussain Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
Keywords: Nasopharyngeal swab, RT-PCR, Saliva specimen, SARS-CoV-2

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the Saliva specimen as a non-invasive sample for molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 compared with Nasopharyngeal Swab.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Virology Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Rawalpindi, in Oct 2020.

Methodology: Forty-eight patients were included in this study from SARS-CoV-2 Outdoor Clinic in Pak Emirates Military (PEMH), Rawalpindi. Out of 48 patients, 28 known SARS-CoV-2 positives by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and 20 known SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR negative patients were included in this study. Paired samples of Nasopharyngeal swabs and Saliva samples were collected from forty-eight patients. Samples were transported to Virology Department AFIP in Viral Transport Medium (VTM) and subjected to SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR simultaneously. The sensitivity and specificity of the Saliva specimen for SARS-COV-2 RT-PCR were compared with Nasopharyngeal Swab.

Results: A total of 48 patients were included in this study, of which 28 (58%) patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2 on NPS by RT-PCR. Among the 28 positive cases, 18 (64.3%) were positive by RT-PCR using saliva specimens. The sensitivity and specificity of saliva specimens compared with NPS were 64.3% and 95%, respectively.

Conclusion: Saliva specimen has much lower sensitivity as compared to NPS in our study. Therefore, it cannot be implemented for the diagnosis of COVID-19 as it can compromise the results of a highly sensitive test like RT-PCR.

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Published
2022-06-27
How to Cite
Ghani, E., Ahmed, F., Niazi, S., Noor, M., Shakoor, N., & Hussain, H. (2022). Saliva as a Non-Invasive Sample for Molecular Detection of SARS- CoV-2. PAFMJ, 72(3), 1078-81. https://doi.org/10.51253/pafmj.v72i3.6411
Section
Original Articles

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