What are more effective to detect Omicron saliva or nasal tests?

When it comes to diagnosing a disease like Covid, what is expected is that the most reliable results possible are obtained in order to obtain the necessary care in the event of being infected.

For an early diagnosis of the virus there are several Covid tests that you can access: Covid-19 BOSON, Covid-19, NEWGENE, Covid-19 WESAIL, Covid-19 GOLDSIDE, Covid-19 FLOW FLEX.

In these rapid antigen tests, the virus is detected through nasal or saliva samples and before the arrival of the new Omicron variant, many wonder which of these two ways is the most effective to find the disease.

What is the Omicron variant?

Omicron is a variant of Covid-19 that, according to the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, is between 2 or 3 times more contagious than the delta variant.

Epidemiologist María Van Kerkhove, technical leader of Covid-19 at WHO, the Omicron has mutations that make it easier to adhere to the human body.

The symptoms it produces are similar to those of Covid-19: cough, fatigue, vomiting, night sweats, body aches, runny nose, and other related symptoms. However, according to studies, these are presented in a milder way than in other variants.

Saliva or nasal test?

For the detection of the virus, rapid tests of Covid-19 oral or nasal fluid are used, which after taking the samples and analyzing them show if the virus was found in the person.

Now, many wonder which is the best source of these two to find the virus. Several scientists have been given the task of defining it.

Recent studies show that Covid saliva tests are more accurate in detecting the Omicron variant than nasal or nasopharyngeal tests.

There is information that Omicron is less likely to reach lung cells, but it does settle in the upper airways of patients.

Effectiveness of tests with saliva samples against Omicron

A recent study carried out by virologists and microbiologists from the University of Cape Town in South Africa published on the MedRxiv platform found that 100% of the tests carried out with saliva were able to detect Omicron and when nasopharyngeal samples were used, this effectiveness was reduced to a 86%.

The experts found a high viral load in saliva much higher than that found in nasal samples. Another big difference was also found and that is that the saliva samples detected the covid in a period of up to 5 days before the tests with nasal secretions.

Although several experts have already declared that “Omicron is best achieved in the throat, there is still much research to be done on these SARS-CoV2 rapid antigen tests .

All the Covid tests in general, although they can be differentiated in more accurate result rates, fulfill their function with a good range of efficacy.