Alternative Testing Methods for COVID-19

More than a year into the pandemic, the world has learned to adapt many ways to try and suppress the spread of the coronavirus. One of the earliest and most effective responses that we have implemented globally is through testing. By identifying and isolating confirmed cases, the virus could be better observed and contained.

By now, we are familiar with how antibody and antigen test kits are used for screening suspected cases through blood samples. We have also come to know PCR testing as the gold-standard confirmatory method for COVID-19 diagnostics. Aside from these well-known testing procedures, various new methods have been developed to expand our testing capacity and reach a wider demographic.

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Saliva Testing

As an alternative sample type, saliva has proven to be significantly easier to collect than the swab samples required by PCR tests. Multiple studies have also shown that, through professionally conducted extraction, saliva samples can be as reliable as nasopharyngeal swabs. Nasopharyngeal extractions can induce sneezing or gagging and increases the viral exposure risk for healthcare providers. Saliva testing, as a non-invasive method, affords healthcare providers with a safer sample collection procedure.

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Anterior Nasal Swab Testing

Most swab samples are currently collected through nasopharyngeal extractions. This involves the insertion of the nasal swab until it reaches approximately between nostrils and the outer ear. This intrusive method has been known to be quite painful. We now have a new option for swab collection in the form of anterior nasal testing. This method only requires the swab to collect about 1 cm from the nostrils, far more comfortable than the previous procedure without compromising the testing accuracy.

As we continue to battle the COVID-19 virus, these alternatives could provide our dedicated healthcare providers with more secure and convenient testing operations. To learn more about the testing kits for saliva testing and anterior nasal swab collection, feel free to fill out the form below.