SHIELD FAQ - Why is saliva collection better than nasal swabbing for testing and collecting?
Saliva is more sensitive than nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs for diagnosis of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 infection. In addition, for a nasal swab, proper sample collection technique is needed to collect a small amount of mucosal material from a specific nasal region making it error prone. Nasal swabs are invasive, and many patients find the process either difficult or uncomfortable. In comparison, no skill is needed for saliva collection. The patient simply drools saliva into a tube. The sample collection process is neither invasive nor uncomfortable. The saliva sample collection is not from a specific region, and the sample size is larger than collection by nasal swab and chances of human error are minimal.