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Evaluation of saliva self-collection devices for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics

By Orchid M Allicock, Mary E. Petrone, Devyn A Yolda-Carr, Mallery Breban, Hannah Walsh, Anne E Watkins, Jessica Rothman, Shelli Farhadian, Nathan Grubaugh, Anne L Wyllie

Posted 04 Feb 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.01.21250946

There is an urgent need to expand testing for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens as the global community struggles to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Current diagnostic methods can be affected by supply chain bottlenecks and require the assistance of medical professionals, impeding the implementation of large-scale testing. Self-collection of saliva may solve these problems, as it can be completed without specialized training and uses generic materials. In this study, we observed thirty individuals who self-collected saliva using four different collection devices and analyzed their feedback. Two of these devices, a funnel and bulb pipette, were used to evaluate at-home saliva collection by 60 individuals. All devices enabled the safe, unsupervised self-collection of saliva. The quantity and quality of the samples received were acceptable for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing, as determined by RNase P detection. Here, we demonstrate inexpensive, generic, buffer free collection devices suitable for unsupervised and home saliva self-collection.

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