Singapore scientists develop 'potentially game-changing' saliva antigen rapid test
Scientists in Singapore have developed a simpler, less invasive way to test for Covid-19 quickly that is close to the accuracy of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in terms of correctly identifying infected individuals. The test requires only an individual’s saliva, rather than a throat or nasal swab.
Unlike other saliva tests that must be done first thing in the morning after an extended period of fasting, the test can be used at any time of the day because its sensitivity is not compromised even after eating or drinking.
Called Parallel Amplified Saliva Rapid Point-of-care Test (Pasport), the test is, however, still perhaps three to six months away from being commercially available. In terms of cost, it is expected to be similar to other test kits available on the market, but “vastly superior”.
When it does become available, the researchers said that it will likely take about 15 minutes for the user to obtain his test result.
The team behind Pasport comprise researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), and the National University of Singapore.
Researchers said that apart from serving as a screening tool for travellers at the airport or attendees of large scale events, there could be other useful contributions for managing Covid-19 cases here.