ASU develops state’s first saliva-based COVID-19 test

In an effort to make COVID-19 diagnostic testing easier and more readily available to Arizonans, researchers at Arizona State University have developed the state’s first saliva-based test. Diagnostic tests detect an active COVID-19 infection by measuring the amount of virus present in the body.

Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer points out that saliva tests offer several benefits over nasopharyngeal swab tests while providing the same accuracy and sensitivity, including safety, less invasiveness, less PPE and less labour intensiveness.

“The goal is to rapidly increase statewide diagnostic testing to continue to protect first responders, get more Arizonans back to work, and students back to school again this fall,” LaBaer said. “Ultimately, we are going to need to continue the testing blitz underway and quickly ‘test, trace and isolate’ individuals to get society back up and running.”