Saliva for diagnosis of COVID-19 in primary care, paediatric and out of hospital settings (The Spit Study)
Rapid diagnosis and isolation of COVID-19 cases and identification and quarantine of their close contacts is essential if we are to control COVID-19 in the community.
Currently, to diagnose someone with COVID-19, a swab is collected from the throat and deep within the nose. Swabbing is uncomfortable and health care workers (HCWs) collecting the swab must use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, gowns, eye-shields and masks, to avoid being infected themselves. The staff costs, requirement for PPE, and discomfort to the patient would be reduced considerably if the diagnosis could be made from a saliva sample, requiring people to spit into a tube. Using saliva to diagnose COVID-19 would make it easier to test people across a wide range of settings.
This study aims to find out whether testing saliva for SARS-CoV-2 is as reliable as nose and throat swabs in a range of settings, including primary care, among children, and outbreak settings. We will find out how practical it is for people to collect a saliva sample and if they prefer this to the throat and nose swab.
Principal Investigator: Dr Katherine Gibney
Dr Katherine Gibney
(03) 9035 3958 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- NHMRC early career fellow
- Enteric infections, Viral Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Resistance, Dengue, Emerging Infections
- Indigenous Health, Public Health, Clinical and health systems research
- Doherty Directorate, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL), Victorian Infectious Diseases Service (VIDS)
- Lab Group(s):
- McVernon Group, Tong Group
Dr Katherine Gibney is an infectious diseases physician, public health physician and medical epidemiologist. She has a particular interest in infections in immigrants and returned travellers, vector-borne diseases and gastrointestinal infections, and Indigenous health. Katherine works at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Doherty Institute, and has an appointment in Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance, Victorian Department of Health. She completed a PhD at Monash University examining the burden of selected infectious diseases in Australia and the national infectious diseases surveillance system.