Ultimate COVID-19 Detection Protocol Based on Saliva Sampling and qRT-PCR with Risk Probability Assessment.

Won, Joungha
Kazan, Hasan Hüseyin
Kwon, Jea
Park, Myungsun
Ergun, Mehmet Ali
Özcan Kabasakal, Süreyya
Choi, Byung Yoon
Heo, Won Do
Lee, C Justin
In the era of COVID-19 outbreak, various efforts are undertaken to develop a quick, easy, inexpensive, and accurate way for diagnosis. Although many commercial diagnostic kits are available, detailed scientific evaluation is lacking, making the public vulnerable to fear of false-positive results. Moreover, current tissue sampling method from respiratory tract requires personal contact of medical staff with a potential asymptomatic SARSCOV-2 carrier and calls for safe and less invasive sampling method. Here, we have developed a convenient detection protocol for SARS-COV-2 based on a non-invasive saliva self-sampling method by extending our previous studies on development of a laboratory-safe and low-cost detection protocol based on qRT-PCR. We tested and compared various self-sampling methods of self-pharyngeal swab and self-saliva sampling from non-carrier volunteers. We found that the self-saliva sampling procedure gave expected negative results from all of the non-carrier volunteers within 2 hours, indicating cost-effectiveness, speed and reliability of the saliva-based method. For an automated assessment of the sampling quality and degree of positivity for COVID-19, we developed scalable formulae based on a logistic classification model using both cycle threshold and melting temperature from the qRT-PCR results. Our newly developed protocol will allow easy sampling and spatial-separation between patient and experimenter for guaranteed safety. Furthermore, our newly established risk assessment formula can be applied to a large-scale diagnosis in health institutions and agencies around the world.
Citation Formats
J. Won et al., “Ultimate COVID-19 Detection Protocol Based on Saliva Sampling and qRT-PCR with Risk Probability Assessment.,” pp. 13–31, 2021, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/89119.