The US drug agency authorized the first test on Friday to diagnose the coronavirus using saliva samples collected at home, after authorizing home tests with nose swabs.
The test, which obtained an emergency use authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was developed by the Laboratory of Clinical Genomics at Rutgers University. Patients will be able to request a prescription for the test, receive a kit at home, then collect their saliva and send it to the laboratory for analysis.
“It is a new option for the simple, safe, and convenient collection of samples required for testing, without having to travel to a doctor, hospital, or test site,” said FDA Director Stephen Hahn.
The FDA has authorized 80 tests to date, most of them in public and private laboratories and research centers.
On April 20, the agency authorized one of the largest laboratory chains in the United States, LabCorp, to analyze samples taken at home by patients from the back of the nose, after laboratories demonstrated that the quality of the test was the equivalent of the laboratory test. In those cases, the evidence was not degraded by transportation from the houses to the place where they are processed.