The Latest on the Coronavirus Outbreak

LSU researchers develop saliva test for COVID-19

Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – Two LSU researchers have developed a saliva-based test to make COVID-19 easier to track.

“Some people just don’t want you to shove things up their nose,” said Rebecca Christofferson, one half of the research team hoping to make the testing process a little more tolerable.

“The things that we’re working on are making this as self-collected as possible, so I hand you a tube and you spit into it.”

The saliva based test is being studied at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

Researchers say the saliva tests are just as accurate as the widely used nasal swab. Right now, they are being used for a study at Louisiana Key Academy. The test result time would be the same as the nasal swab, depending on the lab.

Christofferson believes it could encourage more people to get tested.

“If you have something that’s a little more comfortable, a little less invasive, then you might actually increase willingness to participate. So that’s another kind of boon to this sort of thing.”

Researchers expect the saliva test to cost about the same as the nasal test. They are just waiting for final approval from the FDA.

For more on the testing and its research, click here.

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