Covid-19: the HAS in favor of the evaluation of saliva tests, how do they work?

There are several tests for the coronavirus. Among them, we find the serological test, which is carried out thanks to a blood sample, the rapid test, which makes it possible to identify the presence of antibodies in the body thanks to a drop of blood, but also the PCR or virological test. , which arouses in particular the apprehension of the French. The latter consists of looking for the virus in secretions. For this, cells are taken from the back of the nose using a swab. The samples are then analyzed with the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technique by a specialized laboratory to identify the presence of the virus in the secretions.

Covid-19: the High Authority of Health authorizes the evaluation of saliva tests

This type of test arouses the fear of the French population because it can seem unpleasant and painful. This is why the High Authority of Health (HAS) issued this Monday, August 10, a favorable opinion for the evaluation of saliva tests, which are easier to use. “Virological tests on saliva samples are mentioned as a possible alternative to virological tests on nasopharyngeal samples because the non-invasive and painless sampling act is likely to be better accepted by patients, especially if they are required to be repeatedly tested “, indicates authority.

“However, many uncertainties persist as to their reliability”, states the institution, which “considers that important elements of reliability are still lacking for immediate generalized use as an alternative to nasopharyngeal tests”. The Haute Autorité de Santé will carry out a clinical study to “precisely define the optimal conditions for using these tests as well as the reliability that can be expected from them”. She explains that the samples taken as part of the study should make it possible to constitute a reference “salivothèque”.

Saliva tests: how does it work?

To perform a saliva test, “just take saliva, one of the main vectors of the virus, and place it with the reagents at 65 ° C for 30 minutes. The nursing staff can then read the result with the naked eye. of the reference test method which requires several hours of processing in the laboratory and requires significant equipment and reagents “, explains the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

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