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Saliva as a Viable Alternative Sample Type for SARS-CoV-2 Detection

   

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ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus, the main causative agent for COVID-19, is a serious and potentially deadly virus. Nasopharyngeal/Oropharyngeal swabbing followed by viral RNA extraction and RT-qPCR is currently the gold standard workflow for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Besides being an invasive method for sample collection, the current sample collection strategy requires highly trained personnel at specimen acquisition sites who are at risk of becoming infected. During the past few months there has also been a worldwide shortage of swabs, adding another challenge on the path to widespread population screening. Norgen Biotek has optimized a completed workflow using saliva as a viable alternative and non-invasive sample type for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Norgen’s Saliva RNA Collection & Preservation Device, which is the first step in the workflow, doesn’t require any trained personnel during sample collection and most importantly, it renders the sample non-infectious for safe shipping and handling, minimizing the risk to our frontline workers. Given the complexity of saliva samples, Norgen’s Saliva/Swab RNA Purification kits have been carefully optimized to yield viral RNA from saliva with the highest quantity and quality allowing for the detection of as low as 10 viral copies/µL using any of Norgen’s COVID-19 RT-PCR detection. Norgen’s optimized and validated Saliva-based workflow offers a non-invasive, safe and reliable COVID-19 detection method that has been proven to have equivalent sensitivity and specificity to the current gold standard workflow.