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Table 1 General characteristics and outcomes related to saliva specimen of the included Studies

From: Saliva as a diagnostic specimen for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in suspected patients: a scoping review

Study team and reference Sample Method Results
To KKW, et al., [9] 12 confirmed COVID-19 patients
Median age: 62.5 years
Age range: 37–75 years
Female: 5
Male: 7
Self-collected cough out-saliva
RT-PCR technique
Viral culture of SARS-CoV-2 was conducted: Virus-induced cytopathic effect was examined daily for up to 7 days.
The SARS-CoV-2 was detected in saliva specimens of 11 patients (91.7%).
Median viral load: 3.3 × 106 copies per ml.
Range of viral load: 9.9 × 102–1.2 × 108 copies per ml.
Viral cultures were positive for three patients.
Cheng VCC, et al., [17] One confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patient Self-collected saliva Viral load of the pooled nasopharyngeal and throat swab: 3.3 × 106 copies per ml.
Viral load of self-collected saliva: 5.9 × 106 copies per ml.
Zheng S, et al., [18] 65 confirmed COVID-19 patients
Median age: 65 years
Male: 40 (61.5%)
Female: 25 (38.5%)
Self-collected cough out-saliva
RT-PCR technique
SARS-COV-2 detection rates were significantly higher in sputum (95.65%, 22/23) and saliva (88.09%, 37/42) than in throat swabs and nasal swabs (P < 0.001).
Viral load of sputum, saliva and nasal samples were significantly higher than that of throat swabs (P < 0.05).
No significant difference was between sputum and saliva samples regarding viral load (P < 0.05).
Chen L, et al., [19] 31 confirmed COVID-19 patients
Median age: 60.6 years
Age range: 18–86 years
Female: 15
Male: 16
Saliva was collected from the opening of the salivary gland canal of cleaned oral cavity.
RT-PCR technique
13 cases were tested positive for oropharyngeal swab detection.
Among these 13 patients, there were 4 cases with positive detection in saliva.
To KKW, et al., [20] 23 confirmed COVID-19 patients
Median age: 62 years
Age range: 37–75 years
Female: 10
Male: 13
Self-collected cough out-saliva
RT-PCR technique
The SARS-CoV-2 was detected in saliva specimens of 20 patients (87%).
The viral load in posterior oropharyngeal saliva samples was highest during the first week of symptom onset then gradually declined.
Williams E, et al., [21] 39 confirmed COVID-19 patients
50 PCR negative nasopharyngeal swabs
Self-collected saliva
RT-PCR technique
The SARS-CoV-2 was detected in saliva specimens of 33/39 patients (84.6%; 95% CI: 70.0–93.1%)
The SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 1 saliva specimen among 50 PCR negative nasopharyngeal swabs.
Zheng S, et al., [22] 96 confirmed COVID-19 patients
A total of 1846 respiratory (1178 saliva and 668 sputum) samples were collected.
Self-collected cough out-saliva was collected from patients without sputum
RT-PCR technique
The SARS-CoV-2 was detected in all 96 patients by testing respiratory samples.
Han MS, et al., [23] A 27-day old neonate with COVID-19 who presented clinical symptoms RT-PCR technique The SARS-CoV-2 was detected in all of the neonate’s clinical specimens, including blood, urine, stool, and saliva along with the upper respiratory tract specimens.
Azzi L, et al., [24] 25 confirmed COVID-19 patients with severe or very severe disease
Mean age: 61.5 years
Age range: 39–85 years
Female: 8
Male: 17
Self-collected saliva (drooling technique)
RT-PCR technique
The SARS-CoV-2 was detected in all 25 patients’ first salivary swab
In two patients the salivary samples proved positive while their respiratory swabs showed negative results on the same days.
  1. RT-PCR Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, SARS-CoV-2 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2