MCG research continues into saliva testing for COVID-19

Coronavirus

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – As COVID-19 continues to spread, testing becomes even more important. Researchers are working on a way to take a test and get the results in a matter of minutes.

“The basic research on whether saliva can be used is done.”

Dr. Ravindra Kolhe is the director of the Georgia Esoteric and Molecular Laboratory at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. GEM Lab for short.

For the past few months, these researchers have been looking for a way to test saliva for COVID-19.

Now, they’re waiting on federal approval but there’s one more hurdle to clear.

Dr. Kolhe says the FDA wants to know if there is a change to saliva at different temperatures when samples are taken outside a medical facility.

Once that question is answered, researchers will submit their documents to the FDA and hopefully the get the ok.

Also promising, another test that would be fast and easy.

“The antigen based testing will be something that will be quickly done within 15 to 20 minutes and can be routinely done in an out-patient setting, in a community setting or even in a home setting.”

The doctor says the vetting process for that test is underway at several companies and labs, including MCG.

“I think we are looking at least six to eight months from FDA’s standpoint to get a very full proof testing kit which will be used in the community or home based.”

And that would be a home run.

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