The test does not require a smear, the test subjects can take their saliva themselves and then have it analyzed in the laboratory. Extensive testing should guarantee efficient contact tracing. However, Switzerland does significantly fewer corona tests than surrounding countries. A self-collection kit with painless sampling could increase the willingness of the population to test.
Canadian researchers have developed a preservation liquid that ensures high sample stability. In Switzerland, the self-sampling sets are now being sold by Home Sampling GmbH in St. Gallen. The saliva test is CE-IVD certified and has been verified by a laboratory certified by Swissmedic.
The tests are already being used in the USA and Canada, as the St. Gallen company explained at the request of Keystone-SDA. In the USA alone, the University of Kansas tested 30,000 students in this way. According to studies by Stanford University and the University of Washington, the reliability of self-withdrawals and withdrawals by medically trained personnel are on the same level.
In addition, according to a study by Yale University, the sensitivity of the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in saliva is comparable to higher than that of a nasopharynx smear, writes Home Sampling.
Boris Waldvogel, Managing Director of Invenimus, said on request that the necessary verification was carried out in the laboratory to introduce the collection set. The laboratory in Kloten ZH will analyze the tests. The 250 comparative measurements – double samples of nasopharyngeal swabs and saliva tests – gave consistent results.
An uncomfortable nasopharynx swab is not necessary. The test person can spit their saliva into a tube with a funnel at home, at the doctor’s or at the test center. “You are not allowed to eat or drink half an hour before removal,” explains Waldvogel. Smoking before sampling is also a source of error. The sample can be sent to the laboratory by post. On the day of receipt, those tested receive the result by encrypted email.
Detect and isolate infected people faster
The self-collection tests are intended to help identify and isolate infected people and their contacts more quickly. «The test can be carried out anywhere. You don’t have to go to a doctor’s practice for this, ”says Bpris Waldvogel. In addition, this could save important resources. In contrast to the nasopharyngeal swab, medical personnel are not exposed to any risk of infection. In addition, less protective material is needed.
Thanks to the saliva test, companies could, for example, have their employees who show symptoms sent home collection sets. The set is also useful for business travelers to have the medical laboratory issue the certificate required for entry into a third country.
The saliva test is the more pleasant method, especially for children, said Waldvogel, who is expecting a rush for the holidays. 25,000 self-withdrawal sets are in stock. If you do not want to pay the costs of 157 francs yourself, you need a doctor, test center or approved pharmacy.