UPI reports about the diagnostic capabilities of saliva:
For the last 15 years or so, scientists have tinkered with taking tests normally done with blood and urine and reconfiguring them for use with saliva, explained biochemist Daniel Malamud of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
“Most people would rather have an oral test than the alternative,” Malamud told UPI. “The best example is with the oral thermometer. Nobody wants to go back to the rectal thermometer.”
The U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., currently is funding 10 groups nationwide to advance saliva tests.
“What’s in blood was known for decades to be found in saliva, but the level of (information) was magnitudes lower,” oral health researcher David Wong of the University of California, Los Angeles, told UPI. “So the conventional technology could not be used until now, when sensitivity is much higher.”
Malamud is working on a saliva test that can diagnose a variety of viral and bacterial diseases by detecting DNA from microbes such as HIV within an hour. This quick, simple diagnosis could help prevent unnecessary antibiotic use, which could lead to bacterial resistance. All that is needed is to move a tiny sponge around the mouth to collect less than a thousandth of a liter of fluid.”
The research is about two years along, Malamud said. “Within the next year and a half or so, we plan to take multiple tests and combine them in a single device.”