What The U.S. Is Doing About Its Testing Swab Shortage

By: Sacha Pfeiffer and Meg Anderson
May 25, 2020
(3:18) Saliva Testing for COVID-19 - NPR Getting Back to Normal

(3:18) Saliva Testing for COVID-19 – NPR

Widespread testing for the coronavirus is key to safely reopening the country, but the U.S. has struggled for months to get to the level of testing many experts say we need — even as states and cities begin to loosen restrictions.

Part of the problem is that a test for the coronavirus is not a single device. Testing entails several different steps and requires supplies and pieces of equipment sourced from different places. These supplies have to make it from factories to testing sites where patients’ samples can be collected and to the lab where tests are processed. Along the way, there can be shortages of various components, each one potentially creating a bottleneck. The most common kind of test to check for an active coronavirus infection takes a sample from the back of your nose or throat. There are dozens of varieties of that test, but they all require one key element: the swab. Not a painless solution as you can visually see and hear the “ooh, that doesn’t feel very good” come from the testing patients. Back to normal could mean repeated testing for many and painful swabbing a daily ritual. The only painless option is saliva and is currently FDA authorized using Spectrum’s SDNA Saliva Collection Device. 

In this video, we zero in on the swab, detailing what the federal government and private industry did and didn’t do, the new saliva testing option using the Spectrum Solutions saliva collection device (spot 3:18 in the video), and we break down why testing is so complicated in the first place.

NPR Video- Swab and Saliva Testing for COVID-19 Update Getting back to normal

Spectrum in the News

Spectrum in the News

About the Product

Innovative Engineering SDNA-1000


Spectrum Solutions has manufactured over 20 million Saliva Collection devices for distribution worldwide. Spectrum’s technically superior  SDNA-1000 saliva collection device was engineered to lead the saliva collection industry in molecular diagnostics and clinical research applications delivering the safest and most robust biomaterial collection approach for the detection and diagnosis of disease or viral infection.

  • First saliva collection device to receive EUA authorization for COVID-19 testing
  • First saliva collection device FDA authorized for at-home sample collection
  • Only pain-free biosample collection option for COVID-19 testing
  • Engineered to reduce self-collection error
  • Delivers consistent high-quality, high-yield biosamples
  • 100% inactivation of the live virus
  • 100% bacteriostatic
  • Delivers over a 90% reduction in PPE usage compared to current swab collections for COVID-19 testing
  • Single device preserves both DNA and fragile viral RNA transcripts
  • Device stabilizes and extends biosample viability post-collection over 10 days with no degradation of sample efficacy extending shipping and transport options
  • Saliva collection system mitigates any risk of infection throughout the testing process
  • Pinpoint life-cycle stage of active viral infection
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