Salivary tests for Covid, what to do to make them reliable – Corriere.it

1 What are salivary tests?
They are tests based on the examination of saliva instead of samples taken from the respiratory tract, nose and throat (nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal). They can be antigenic (they detect the presence of virus proteins, antigens) and molecular (presence of the DNA of the Sars-CoV-2 virus). The latter is considered the diagnostic test of excellence.

2 When should saliva be collected?
Early in the morning.


3 Can I eat before blood collection?
Yes, but between the meal and the sample, at least 30 minutes must pass so that the saliva is not contaminated by food and by brushing the teeth.

4 Can you drink coffee?
No in the previous half hour.

5 What about chewing gum or candy?
Yes, but respecting the interval of at least 30 minutes during which the ingestion of any substance that could alter the purity of saliva, including sugary drinks and medicines, must be avoided.

6 Can you drink water?
Yes, always.

7 How is the sample taken?
With chewing wipes for one minute or with sponges.

8 Are they reliable?
According to Maria Capobianchi, the microbiologist who isolated the first Italian Sars-CoV-2 virus, the salivary tests are equivalent to those of the respiratory tract but the collection of saliva requires a lot of attention. It has very different characteristics between individuals and variable composition. The circular from the Ministry of Health (May 15) also clarifies this.

May 25, 2021 (change May 25, 2021 | 21:16)

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