A saliva-based COVID-19 test developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health was granted an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The test, called SalivaDirect, is simpler, less expensive and less invasive than nasopharyngeal swabbing. So far, testing has shown similar outcomes to that of swabbing, according to Yale.
“With saliva being quick and easy to collect, we realized it could be a game-changer in COVID-19 diagnostics,” Anne Wyllie, an associate research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health, said in a statement.
SalivaDirect was developed as a way to rapidly expand coronavirus testing. The test was spearheaded by Nathan Grubaugh, who is an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health, and Wyllie.
“Using SalivaDirect, our lab can double our testing capacity,” said Professor Chen Liu, chair of Yale Pathology, who oversaw the clinical validation of the study.
"Wide-spread testing is critical for our control efforts. We simplified the test so that it only costs a couple of dollars for reagents, and we expect that labs will only charge about $10 per sample. If cheap alternatives like SalivaDirect can be implemented across the country, we may finally get a handle on this pandemic, even before a vaccine,” Grubaugh said in a statement.
The research was funded by the NBA, National Basketball Players Association, and a fast grant from the Emergent Ventures at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
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