How the UAE COVID-19 saliva check works

COVID-19, Unilabs UAE, Dubai Health Authority

Earlier this week, the Dubai Well being Authority (DHA) within the United Arab Emirates introduced it’s now providing a easy saliva check that may detect COVID-19 for youngsters between the ages of 3-16 years. The check – which prices AED 150 (€34) – is offered throughout all DHA services and DHA-run COVID-19 screening centres within the emirate.

It’s hoped that the brand new type of testing will remove discomfort generally skilled with the normal nasal swab that’s arguably extra appropriate for adults than for youngsters.

Outcomes from the saliva check take the identical time because the nasal swab, inside roughly 24-48 hours.


In October, researchers from institutes together with the Mohammed Bin Rashid College (MBRU), Unilabs UAE, and the DHA printed a paper in An infection and Drug Resistance entitled ‘Saliva as an Various Specimen for Molecular COVID-19 Testing in Neighborhood Settings and Inhabitants-Primarily based Screening’. The group concluded that the saliva check provided “good diagnostic accuracy” including that “saliva represents a possible specimen of alternative in group settings and population-based screening, particularly as a non-invasive various for youngsters and the aged.”

Hanan Al Suwaidi, lead investigator of the examine and assistant professor of household medication on the School of Drugs at MBRU, stated: “This examine is an instance of translational analysis that may influence coverage and follow and assist information policymakers in decision-making. 

“We’re very proud that Dubai’s efforts in combating this pandemic have been research-driven and evidence-based.”

In line with the examine, “viral RNA was extracted from 300 µL of every pattern utilizing the Chemagic viral RNA extraction package on the automated Chemagic 360 Nucleic Acid Extractor”, whereas SARS-CoV-2 detection was carried out “utilizing the NeoPlex COVID-19 package for the RT-PCR amplification of the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp and N gene targets.”

It continued: “The outcomes have been interpreted in accordance with the UAE Federal pointers, that are according to producer pointers, and a ‘detected’ outcome for SARS-CoV-2 was rendered if two gene targets or solely the RdRp gene goal was amplified.”


Dr Farida Al Khaja, CEO of DHA’s Medical Assist Companies and Nursing Sector advised Gulf Information: “For youngsters, particularly, it’s extremely helpful because it eliminates the discomfort related to a nasal swab check, which suggests kids might be relaxed and discover the check comfy.

“This joint effort highlights how research-based information may help develop public well being insurance policies to supply the highest-standards of medical care to the inhabitants.”


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