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Article

Self-Collected Samples to Detect SARS-CoV-2: Direct Comparison of Saliva, Tongue Swab, Nasal Swab, Chewed Cotton Pads and Gargle Lavage

1
Institute for Medical Virology, University Hospital, Goethe University Frankfurt, 60596 Frankfurt, Germany
2
Health Protection Authority, City of Frankfurt, 60313 Frankfurt, Germany
3
Institute of Biostatistics and Mathematical Modelling, Goethe University Frankfurt, 60596 Frankfurt, Germany
4
German Centre for Infection Research, External Partner Site, 60323 Frankfurt, Germany
5
Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), Branch Translational Medicine and Pharmacology, 60596 Frankfurt, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally (first author).
These authors contributed equally (last author).
Academic Editor: Célia F. Rodrigues
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(24), 5751; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245751
Received: 26 October 2021 / Revised: 3 December 2021 / Accepted: 6 December 2021 / Published: 8 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
Testing for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by RT-PCR is a vital public health tool in the pandemic. Self-collected samples are increasingly used as an alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs. Several studies suggested that they are sufficiently sensitive to be a useful alternative. However, there are limited data directly comparing several different types of self-collected materials to determine which material is preferable. A total of 102 predominantly symptomatic adults with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection self-collected native saliva, a tongue swab, a mid-turbinate nasal swab, saliva obtained by chewing a cotton pad and gargle lavage, within 48 h of initial diagnosis. Sample collection was unsupervised. Both native saliva and gargling with tap water had high diagnostic sensitivity of 92.8% and 89.1%, respectively. Nasal swabs had a sensitivity of 85.1%, which was not significantly inferior to saliva (p = 0.092), but 16.6% of participants reported they had difficult in self-collection of this sample. A tongue swab and saliva obtained by chewing a cotton pad had a significantly lower sensitivity of 74.2% and 70.2%, respectively. Diagnostic sensitivity was not related to the presence of clinical symptoms or to age. When comparing self-collected specimens from different material, saliva, gargle lavage or mid-turbinate nasal swabs may be considered for most symptomatic patients. However, complementary experiments are required to verify that differences in performance observed among the five sampling modes were not attributed to collection impairment. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; self-collected samples; PCR; COVID-19; saliva; gargle lavage; nasal swab SARS-CoV-2; self-collected samples; PCR; COVID-19; saliva; gargle lavage; nasal swab
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kohmer, N.; Eckermann, L.; Böddinghaus, B.; Götsch, U.; Berger, A.; Herrmann, E.; Kortenbusch, M.; Tinnemann, P.; Gottschalk, R.; Hoehl, S.; Ciesek, S. Self-Collected Samples to Detect SARS-CoV-2: Direct Comparison of Saliva, Tongue Swab, Nasal Swab, Chewed Cotton Pads and Gargle Lavage. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 5751. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245751

AMA Style

Kohmer N, Eckermann L, Böddinghaus B, Götsch U, Berger A, Herrmann E, Kortenbusch M, Tinnemann P, Gottschalk R, Hoehl S, Ciesek S. Self-Collected Samples to Detect SARS-CoV-2: Direct Comparison of Saliva, Tongue Swab, Nasal Swab, Chewed Cotton Pads and Gargle Lavage. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(24):5751. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245751

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kohmer, Niko, Lisa Eckermann, Boris Böddinghaus, Udo Götsch, Annemarie Berger, Eva Herrmann, Marhild Kortenbusch, Peter Tinnemann, Rene Gottschalk, Sebastian Hoehl, and Sandra Ciesek. 2021. "Self-Collected Samples to Detect SARS-CoV-2: Direct Comparison of Saliva, Tongue Swab, Nasal Swab, Chewed Cotton Pads and Gargle Lavage" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 24: 5751. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245751

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