Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

April 22, 2020

Saliva as a non-invasive specimen for detection of SARS-CoV-2



  • Williams et al investigated the feasibility and utility of saliva as a non-invasive diagnostic specimen for COVID-19 screening in a clinic in Melbourne, Australia.  Overall 84.6% of the positive RT PCR patients had SARS-CoV-2 detected in their saliva, while 2% of PCR-negative patients were positive. They argue that use of saliva reduces risk to healthcare workers, does not require specialized consumables, causes less patient discomfort, and may be a useful sample for self-collection. They conclude that saliva could be a suitable alternative first-line screening test in several environments including low resource settings.

Williams et al. (April 21, 2020). Saliva as a non-invasive specimen for detection of SARS-CoV-2.  Clin Microbiol.