With the involvement of active COVID-19 patients and in collaboration with researchers from other universities, Semmelweis University in Budapest is currently conducting analyses to develop an efficient new form of testing method to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
As Index writes, the current method of collecting specimen from the nose and throat “causes discomfort” to many, which is one of the reasons people decide not to take the test.
But researchers at the Semmelweis University in Budapest are currently working on a new form of testing that in many aspects could be a better alternative to this “invasive” form of testing. Researchers at the Department of Oral Biology have been analysing studies and the results of clinical trials to prove that saliva-based testing is just as efficient as the current method, nose and throat swapping.
The analysis at Semmelweis University is conducted in collaboration with the universities of Pécs, Szeged, and Manchester; their latest results have been recently published in renowned paper Frontiers in Medicine.
According to their study, “saliva-based testing is a promising alternative that could simplify and accelerate COVID-19 diagnosis”.
Since June, the group has been involving active COVID-19 patients in the analysis to compare the results of saliva-based tests with those of swabbing. According to Index, once the efficiency of saliva-based tests is proven, they will be introduced at the university’s units that are responsible for diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients.
Saliva-based testing would have several advantages over the current method of diagnostic testing. First, it would not require personal contact or trained medical personnel; therefore, the risk of infection would also be lower.
The two forms of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 are PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and antigen tests. Results of a PCR test can be available in a few days maximum, while an antigen test is able to detect active SARS-CoV-2 infection within an hour.
The study says that another issue with swabbing is that it has several contraindications, and causes “an economic and logistic burden on healthcare systems”. The full analysis is available here.