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University of Wisconsin-Madison Creates Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test


Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) AIDS Vaccine Research Laboratory have created a saliva-based COVID-19 test that has been used more than 400 times on volunteers at the university and a local elementary school. Out of these tests, two positive results were confirmed with laboratory testing and one false positive was found.

The test takes a few hours to complete, and it requires patients only to spit saliva into a test tube, making it a more comfortable experience than the traditional nose swab. The test, supported via funding from the National Institutes of Health, uses a different system than the traditional laboratory test. The UW-Madison test employs reverse-transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) to highlight the presence of the novel coronavirus in the saliva sample. While not as effective as laboratory testing, it is quicker, less expensive, and simpler to use. The UW-Madison test has not yet been approved for clinical use. Read more here.

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