JMM Editor’s Choice: Improving COVID-19 PCR testing

Posted on November 5, 2021   by Microbiology Society

In this blog, Professor Tim Inglis discusses ‘Sample collection and transport strategies to enhance yield, accessibility, and biosafety of COVID-19 RT-PCR testing’ which he selected as Editor’s Choice in the Journal of Medical Microbiology after its publication in September. 

In this study Banada and colleagues address a practical problem many of us are grappling with every day: how to improve the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 detection at the same time as lowering the discomfort of specimen collection. They have shown that combining improved transport media with saliva collection can achieve these two aims, with the bonus of protecting specimen collectors. As we consider high-throughput screening for international travellers, these results give us a bit more confidence in saliva collection as an alternative to deep nasopharyngeal swabs.