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Saliva: A Promising Sample Type for Disease Screening and Diagnostics

45 minutes + live Q&A

Key Questions We Will Answer

  1. Understanding what saliva is made of
  2. The different applications saliva can be used for (viral detection, cancer biomarker discovery, NGS, differential gene expression and saliva microbiome)
  3. Understanding the challenges presented by saliva samples (sample handling and sample processing)
  4. How to address these challenges


Population screening for the identification of newly emerging viruses, cancer biomarker discovery, microbiome studies and for the identification of Genetic Ancestry has always been a challenge. However, now more than ever, there is great demand for non-invasive sample types that can be used for viral detection and genetic analysis. In 2017, the FDA approved the utilization of saliva as a sample source for genetic research and as an alternate sample source to determine an individual’s tendency to acquire 10 different diseases and pathological conditions. Saliva cells are shed where they demonstrate reliable genetic testing sources, making saliva suitable for diagnostics. In fact, it was recently identified as a reliable sample source for detecting viruses infecting the upper respiratory tract, such as SARS-CoV-2. Since saliva contains a non-pathogenic bacterial community, it has been demonstrated as an emerging sample type in the field of microbiome studies. Although it is readily available and can be obtained non-invasively by individuals, it is considered a complex sample type. Because saliva contains high amounts of nucleases and several other inhibitors, the quality of purified nucleic acids can be negatively impacted, hindering the benefits of using saliva as a reliable sample source. In this webinar, we will discuss different collection and preservation methods of saliva DNA and RNA and how these methods can affect the quality of the nucleic acid content of saliva. Additionally, we will demonstrate how saliva can be used for different applications related to genetic analysis.

About the Speakers

Dr. Abdalla, MSc, PhD is the Director of Marketing & Sales at Norgen Biotek Corp., Senior Research Scientist and has taken on the role of Laboratory Director for Norgen’s COVID-19 testing service. Succeeding his masters in Biochemistry at Alexandria University, Egypt, Dr. Abdalla completed his PhD at Brock University, where he specialised in HCV-related liver cancer biomarker discovery from urine. Dr. Abdalla joined the team at Norgen Biotek over 14 years ago, specializing in sample preparation from challenging samples and molecular diagnostics. During his time at Norgen, Dr. Abdalla has developed many cutting-edge research and diagnostic tools for scientific use. As the Director of Marketing and Sales, he and his team strategically employed global awareness initiatives that would position Norgen as a thought leader within the industry. He leveraged Norgen’s outstanding technology, developed in-house, to laboratories and ensured a quality product was always distributed to the labs in need. With his team of research scientists, they ensured the efficacy of Norgen’s testing service and the high performance of Norgen’s products.