Covid, green light for salivary tests: a useful opportunity for school screening. Circular from the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health gives the green light to molecular salivary tests but with some limitations “because sensitivity decreases after the first 5 days from the onset of symptoms” and because “the saliva sample can be considered an option for the detection of Sars-CoV-2 infection if it is not possible to obtain gold / nasopharyngeal swabs “.

This is what is foreseen in the new circular of the Ministry of Health, signed by the Director General of Prevention Gianni Rezza, on the “Use of molecular and antigenic tests on saliva for professional use for the diagnosis of Sars-CoV-2 infection ‘.

The saliva sample may be considered an option in asymptomatic individuals who are repeatedly screened for professional or other reasons, particularly for very elderly or disabled individuals, or in the case of a shortage of tampons.

Data on the use of saliva in pediatric patients are limited, although given the simplification of the collection technique they can represent a useful tool for monitoring in the school setting.. Some studies indicate sensitivities between 53 and 73%.

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