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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-90

Saliva as a Diagnostic Aid in COVID-19: A Boon for Dentistry

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Pacific Dental College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Saleem D Makandar
School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/denthyp.denthyp_180_20

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Introduction: Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious and virulent infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The symptoms arise within 2 to 14 days after the infection. The specimens are collected from the upper respiratory tract through nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab. This sampling requires close contact with COVID-19 patients and may directly cause transmission to health care professionals. Saliva specimens can be collected easily by asking patients to spit into a sterile container. Materials and Methods: In the current study, the selected patients (n = 20) were those who tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to the hospital. After getting approval from ethical committee of the hospital, both nasopharyngeal swab specimens and the salivary samples of each patient were collected and tested using standard procedure of real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: The mean cycle threshold values obtained from both the sampling techniques were correlated. It was seen that there was no significant difference between them. The advantage of using saliva as a specimen is in the overall specimen collection procedure and its cost and time effectiveness. The diagnosis of COVID-19 through a rapid test procedure using salivary samples could be a boon to dentists. Conclusion: This would help in the detection of positive asymptomatic carriers of the virus among the patients who come to seek dental treatment and reduce the risk of infection in the dental office. The results of this study clearly show that the values obtained from the two sampling techniques are closely related, and hence saliva could definitely be considered as a diagnostic aid for COVID-19.

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