TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Zubairi Djoerban, a professor from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, responded to circulating issues about the plan to adopt the Covid-19 saliva test which uses saliva samples to detect the coronavirus infection to replace the nasal swab test. He opined that it could serve as the standard test for the disease.
“In my opinion, it is feasible and possible. Moreover, this saliva-based test has obtained a permit from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” Zubairi said on his Twitter account.
According to him, the swab test was highly dependent on healthcare personnel to hold it. For some, it could be uncomfortable as it caused them to sneeze and cough. Meanwhile, the saliva test did not require an extraction step.
“[The extraction step] can be replaced with the addition of a heated enzyme. The extraction of RNA [in a swab test] takes a long time,” Zubairi explained, adding that based on various studies, the saliva-based test could examine 90 samples in less than 3 hours.
“This will surely ease the laboratory work because more test results can be obtained,” he added.
The accuracy rate of the saliva test also reaches 94 percent, which is as good at detecting Covid-19 as a nasopharyngeal swab test. With a simple collection of samples, Zubairi said people could send their samples via courier to the clinic or hospital so they do not need to make a visit for a swab test.