Versatility of Saliva, Urine Samples for the Diagnosis of Emerging Viruses

The emergence of different viral infections during the last decades like dengue, West Nile, SARS, chikungunya, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Zika and Yellow Fever raised some questions on quickness and reliability of laboratory diagnostic tests for verification of suspected cases. Since sampling of blood requires medically trained personal and comprises some risks for the patient as well as for the health care personal, the sampling by non-invasive methods (e.g. saliva and/ or urine) might be a very valuable alternative for investigating a diseased patient.

To analyze the usefulness of alternative non­invasive samples for the diagnosis of emerging infectious viral diseases, Niedrig, et al. (2018) performed a literature search on PubMed for alternative sampling for these viral infections. In total, 711 papers of potential relevance were found, of which the researchers included 128 in this review.

The reserchers conclude that considering the experience using non-invasive sampling for the diagnostic of emerging viral diseases, it seems important to perform an investigation using alternative samples for routine diagnostics. Moreover, during an outbreak situation, evaluation of appropriate sampling and further processing for laboratory analysis on various diagnostic platforms are very crucial. This will help to achieve optimal diagnostic results for a good and reliable case identification.

Reference: Niedrig M, et al. Find the right sample: A study on the versatility of saliva and urine samples for the diagnosis of emerging viruses. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2018; 18:707