Sunday , September 26 2021

Rapid saliva tests are not reliable enough, according to the High Health Authority

TEST – The High Authority for Health (HAS) has estimated on Wednesday that certain saliva tests – which are not effective enough in anti-Covid screening – will no longer be reimbursed by Social Security. But there are similar alternatives.

The High Authority for Health (HAS) estimated on Wednesday that rapid saliva screening tests were performed for Covid-19 “current actions too heterogeneous”, i “suspend” therefore, its recommendation that Social Security take over these devices. De “the new data available (…) reveal a great variability of the results obtained, questioning their effectiveness”, explains the health agency in a press release. Corn “there are now reliable alternatives with the same levels of acceptability or speed.”

These tests, he said “integrated”, give a result on the presence or absence of the virus in about forty minutes, from a saliva sample. Since January, the saliva test, marketed by the company EasyCov, has been reimbursed by Social Security.

On November 28, the HAS had only recommended its use and reimbursement “in symptomatic people for whom a nasopharyngeal swab is made (by swab, editor’s note) “impossible or difficult to achieve”. This recommendation had been taken “taking into account the potential interest of the product (fast and non-invasive technology) and the healthcare context”, month “the available diagnostic performance data came from a single study conducted by the manufacturer and presented methodological biases related to the practical conditions of its implementation”, points out the health authority.

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The risk of losing infected people

There are other efficient saliva tests: Genelyzer FII distributed by Canon Medical, ID NOW distributed by Abbott Diagnostics and still OptiGene distributed by the company of the same name. They show, in fact, a good level of specificity, that is, they do not erroneously conclude that an uninfected person is positive, “with 97% to 99% results”.

In contrast, sensitivity data, their ability not to lose infected people, “They are problematic because these tests present very heterogeneous results ranging from 30% to 90%, without any real explanation,” emphasizes the HAS.

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For now, only saliva tests that require a lab analysis by PCR will be reimbursed. For fast results, the HAS recommends the use of antigen tests and recalls that they can be performed on a nasopharyngeal sample but also on a nasal sample, less deep, as is the case with self-tests.

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