BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – The University of Colorado Boulder (CU) on Wednesday announced a new, less expensive COVID-19 test that uses saliva collection instead of a nasal swab.
The test does need a lab for results. Instead, researchers explained the tests needs little equipment to work. Saliva is mixed with an enzyme mixture and heated. A change in color means the individual is positive for COVID-19.
“We are facing a serious testing shortage in this country right now as more people want to get tested and diagnostics labs are overwhelmed,” said Nicholas Meyerson, a postdoctoral associate in the Sawyer Lab at the BioFrontiers Institute at CU Boulder. “We’ve developed a test that could get results to people much faster.”
The test is designed to provide widespread screening at a low cost — ideal for use in factories and schools.
“The test predicted with 100% accuracy all of the negative samples, and 29 of 30 positive samples were predicted accurately,” said Meyerson.
Researchers said the test is slightly less sensitive than those performed in clinical labs. But researchers also noted it could still play a role in curbing the pandemic.
CU is hoping to make the test available for commercial use.