Gargled water samples are viable alternatives for the detection of Covid-19: ICMR Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 21, 2020

Swab collection exposes the healthcare workers to the virus-containing aerosols, says the study   -  THE HINDU

It is cheaper and safer than swab collection, says the study

Gargled water samples are viable alternatives to swabs for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, according to a study published in the journal of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), .

The study is titled “Gargle lavage as a viable alternative to swab for detection of SARS-CoV-2.”

The authors stated in their study: “Swab collection has several drawbacks also as it requires training, exposes the healthcare workers to the virus-containing aerosols, has poor patient acceptability and is resource-intensive.”

They added: “An alternative sample collection method that could overcome most of these limitations without compromising the yield of the test is the need of the hour.”

Costs low

The authors believe that the adoption of this method will cut down costs and help in the self-collection of samples.

Although the use of gargle specimens is not new, at present, there is little published information on the suitability of gargle specimens to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection, the study stated.

This study was, therefore, conducted to assess the performance of gargle lavage in comparison to nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs for the detection of the novel coronavirus.

This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the AIIMS, New Delhi over a period of one month (May-June) on 50 confirmed Covid-19 patients.

The study was carried out by Dr Naveet Wig, Dr Manish Soneja, Dr Neeraj Nischal, and Dr Ankit Mittal from the department of Medicine at AIIMS; Dr Anjan Trikha and Dr Kapil Dev Soni from the department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at AIIMS.

Published on August 21, 2020

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