Medical Technology

Are COVID Test Kits capable of measure the oral microbiome

Studies have shown that saliva-based tests could save more than just the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2.

What you need to know:

  • Some microbes we inhale through our mouths are absorbed into our lungs. According to Abigail Armstrong (PhD), the principal writer of a new study published in NPJ Microbiomes and Biofilms, examining the oral microbiome can aid in understanding how this environment affects COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 saliva tests contain preservatives to preserve the genetic material of the virus. However, it is not known if these substances also protect the genetic material of bacteria in saliva.

  • Armstrong and her colleagues collected saliva samples from 22 participants using the test kit and empty tubes. They then compared the capability to measure bacteria in two forms of saliva samples.

  • The researchers found that the samples collected by the COVID testing kits enabled precise measurements of the bacteria present in saliva, and that the preservatives helped to create an accurate picture of the microbiome over time.

  • According to the researchers, observing oral bacteria using COVID test kits could lead to further research into the systemic effects of the disease, with the potential to lead to therapies centering on the microbiome.

This is a brief summary of the article “COVID-19 Test Kits Also Can measure the oral microbiome in Saliva,” published on Rutgers Today November 22. The full article is available on

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The Medical Progress

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