The study conducted by the Laboratory of advanced molecular diagnostics of the Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology-Cibio of the University of Trento and the Provincial Health Care Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento on the reliability of saliva tests for the molecular diagnosis of Covid-19 will soon reach international research teams thanks to a preprint article
In recent months, the Laboratory of advanced molecular diagnostics of the Department Cibio of the University of Trento and the Provincial Health Care Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento have carried out a study to assess the reliability of saliva tests for the molecular diagnosis of Covid-19.
The study is now in preprint, which means that the international scientific community will be able to start examining the results. In academic publishing, a preprint publication is the version of a scientific document that precedes formal peer review and publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. This is an important step because the outcome of the research work is shared with research groups that are working to fight the pandemic in various parts of the world. The results can therefore be discussed, refuted or integrated.
The study conducted in Trentino involved over a thousand people who were recruited at the drive-through vaccination centre in Trento, who have been tested with nasopharyngeal and saliva swabs. "This was an opportunity to test an innovative test tube made in Trentino to facilitate and make it safer to collect the sample for anyone, and to encourage large-scale screenings", explains Massimo Pizzato, head of the Laboratory of advanced molecular diagnostics of the University of Trento.
He then commented the outcome of the research work: "The study demonstrates that the collection system and the molecular analysis procedure developed by the laboratory of UniTrento is very effective, in line with the results provided by nasopharyngeal swabs. The data show that, compared to the nasal swabs, saliva tests are highly reliable and effective both in the initial and symptomatic phases of the infection".
Swabs and test tubes are examined in the laboratory using the same molecular technique that is extremely reliable. However, while nasal swabs are an invasive procedure that must be performed by a healthcare professional, saliva tests can be easily used by anyone with no risks or discomfort. Saliva tests can be a game changer for Covid-19 large scale testing and infection tracing, especially in schools and similar settings where vaccination coverage is low.