(searched for: doi:10.1177/00333549221074395)
Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics; https://doi.org/10.1080/14737159.2022.2094250
Symptomatic testing and asymptomatic screening for SARS-CoV-2 continue to be essential tools for mitigating virus transmission. Though COVID-19 diagnostics initially defaulted to oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal sampling, the worldwide urgency to expand testing efforts spurred innovative approaches and increased diversity of detection methods. Strengthening innovation and facilitating widespread testing remains critical for global health, especially as additional variants emerge and other mitigation strategies are recalibrated. A growing body of evidence reflects the need to expand testing efforts and further investigate the efficiency, sensitivity, and acceptability of saliva samples for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Countries have made pandemic response decisions based on resources, costs, procedures, and regional acceptability - the adoption and integration of saliva-based testing among them. Saliva has demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity while being less invasive relative to nasopharyngeal swabs, securing saliva’s position as a more acceptable sample type. Despite the accessibility and utility of saliva sampling, global implementation remains low compared to swab-based approaches. In some cases, countries have validated saliva-based methods but face challenges with testing implementation or expansion. Here, we review the localities that have demonstrated success with saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 testing approaches and can serve as models for transforming concepts into globally-implemented best practices.