Dr Girish Parmar, dean of the college and principal investigator of the project, said that accuracy of the saliva testing for Covid-19 is found to have 83% accuracy in finding the Covid-19 infection.
“When compared with the nasal swab, it is found to have 86.7% match. It opens doors for the new method of quicker sample collection at places where trained technical staff is not present,” he said.
The project, that started from September last year at the OPD of Covid-19 in the Civil Hospital campus and at Surat Government Medical College, got 308 samples tested with both saliva and swab. Dr Jayasankar Pillai, tutor at the college and co-investigator of the project, said that the method is found to have low sensitivity rate (40%) compared to nasal and oropharyngeal swab.
“We also do not recommend it as the sole method currently, but what we do want to highlight is its potential and need for a larger study,” he said.
Out of the total samples, the researchers said that 18% had tested positive on saliva and 9.7% on swab tests.
In 7% cases, both the methods yielded positive results. Researchers stressed that the self-collection of samples is a big plus as several studies pointed at its potential.