Collecting saliva samples for Coronavirus testing just got easier with the recent FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the SalivaDirect kit from the Yale School of Public Health.
What makes the new saliva test for SARS-CoV-2 a breakthrough moment is its ability to skip the RNA extraction step and be performed using a wide range of available equipment and reagents.
An earlier saliva test from Rutgers University was the first to market but is designed for use on a specific testing platform and storage media made by a single manufacturer.
Anything that removes or reduces supply bottlenecks and speeds up testing has the potential to be a game-changer.
Another benefit: Saliva tests are less invasive since they do not require a painful nasopharyngeal swab to collect the sample.
Finally, according to the Yale team, saliva samples can be collected and stored at room temperature without the need for chemical additives so long as the collection device is sterile.
JTCMed offers a convenient saliva sample collection kit from NEST Scientific which can be used to collect patient samples for all saliva tests including the new Yale saliva test for Coronavirus.
What comes in the NEST Scientific saliva collection kit?
The NEST Scientific saliva collection kit is made of several components:
- A 10mL sterile collection tube fitted with a funnel at the top
- A vial containing 2mL of either ITM or .85% Saline Solution
- A sample bag for storing the tube post collection
- A sterile cap for closing the collection vial
- Four unique barcode stickers
How do I collect patient saliva for COVID-19 testing?
Depending on the version of NEST Scientific saliva collection kit, sample collection may be done at home (.85% Saline Solution) or collected by a medical professional (Inactivating Transport Medium).
Prior to collecting the saliva sample the patient needs to rinse their mouth, then refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum for 30 minutes.
The patient then gently spits into the tube enough saliva to reach the clearly marked 2mL fill line. Saliva must be free of bubbles, impurities, or sputum.
Add in the 2mL of ITM (Inactivating Transport Medium) by inserting the smaller vial into the neck of the saliva collection vial (the funnel remains in place) and twisting clockwise to break the lower seal and allow the ITM to safely pour into the vial.
Remove the funnel and screw the sterile cap atop the vial.
Fully mix the saliva with the preservation solution by inverting the vial ten times and then place a bar-code sticker on the sample vial.
What are the differences between Inactivating Transport Medium (ITM) and Saline?
ITM required professional handling but will safely store patient samples at room temperature for up to 20 days with no degradation.
This makes ITM an excellent choice where samples cannot be processed immediately, and the testing site lacks ample refrigeration.
NEST Scientific Saline Solution follows the FDA formula and is safe and non-toxic. This makes it ideal for performing sample collection at home.
If COVID-19 testing is not performed quickly, Saline Solution gives off a very foul and unpleasant odor.