The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) became a global ongoing pandemic. Timely, accurate, and non-invasive SARS-CoV-2 detection in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, as well as the determination of their immune status, will facilitate effective large-scale pandemic control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This review focuses on the role of saliva as both a foe (a common mode of viral transmission via salivary droplets and potentially aerosols) and a friend (as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for viral detection and immune status surveillance) in combating COVID-19.
This review explores the potential role of saliva in the COVID-19 pandemic, as both a mechanism for the spread of the disease and a readily accessible diagnostic tool for detecting the presence of the virus, as well as an individual’s immune status.
- Results: saliva can be used to diagnose the novel coronavirus infection, and even help monitor immunity to the virus.
- Saliva is a “potent” biofluid source option for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 since it is non-invasive, easy-to-access, and low-cost.
- Saliva can be stored at -80 °C for several years with little degradation.
- Researcher Quote: “Ironically, saliva is a leading way that disease is transmitted, via droplets on surfaces and in the air, but it can also be incredibly useful to us for diagnosing the virus and monitoring a person’s health,” said Dr. Pingping Han, a postdoctoral research fellow in UQ’s School of Dentistry. “Indeed, saliva may be useful for both diagnosing the presence and sequelae of COVID-19 infection, as well as identifying and tracking the development of immunity to the virus.”
Received: 21 April 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 7 May 2020 / Published: 9 May 2020
Han, P.; Ivanovski, S. Saliva—Friend and Foe in the COVID-19 Outbreak. Diagnostics 2020, 10, 290.