Lab Instruments, Medical, Nasal Swabs

Nasal Swab As An Alternative Specimen For Detection Of Respiratory Syndrome

Nasal Swab

Back in 2019, when the Coronavirus disease brought serious threats to public health worldwide, lab analysts used to leverage nasal swabs, Nasopharyngeal swabs, and saliva specimens to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. However, it has been observed that Nasopharyngeal swabs are comparatively invasive and uncomfortable for the detection of respiratory syndrome.

On account of that, scientific research was conducted to study the use of Nasal sampling swabs as an alternative specimen for the detection of coronavirus and other respiratory syndrome. Let’s look into the research more thoroughly to understand the working of nasal swabs.

Why Nasal Swab Holds Importance For Detection Of Respiratory Syndrome

The coronavirus spread quickly all around the world, causing over 649 million cases and 6.6 million deaths. As the virus was known to spread easily and put a strain on healthcare systems, it was crucial to detect it early and accurately. However, it was observed that many people who had the virus showed no symptoms, and they could unknowingly pass it to others because there weren’t enough tests to identify them.

Although there are different ways to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the most common of them is the nasopharyngeal swab. However, this method was known to be uncomfortable, and invasive, and could lead to sneezing, coughing, or bleeding. It also creates tiny droplets called aerosols, which could infect healthcare workers.

Thus, instead of the nasopharyngeal swab, other options like the nasal swab, saliva, and throat swabs were considered. The nasal swab, in particular, was preferred because it is less uncomfortable and could even be collected by the person themselves. This approach makes it quicker, easier to handle and reduces the need for lots of protective gear. (Rahman)

The Method And Approach For Research

To study the difference between the efficiency of a nasal swab and a nasopharyngeal swab, a total of 440 suspects of Covid-19 were recruited from February 6 to March 7, 2022. Trained nurses and healthcare staff collected nasopharyngeal and nasal swabs from the same individual, followed the same sample collection procedure, and stored them at 2–8°C until tested.

To detect the COVID-19 virus, samples were taken from the back of the nose (nasopharyngeal swabs) and from the front of the nose (nasal swabs). A special method called real-time RT-PCR was used for testing the samples. This method allows us to see if the virus is present in the samples and how much of it is there. (Rahman)

Data Analysis And Result

The researchers used data from 449 suspected COVID-19 cases, out of which 230 were hospitalized, and 219 were not hospitalized. Among the participants, 279 were male, 170 were female, and their average age was 41 to 19 years.

The researchers used statistical software (SPSS version 22.0) and an online tool (MedCalc) to analyze the data and calculate the real-time RT-PCR test’s sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy using either nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs.

The research results showed the test’s sensitivity and specificity in detecting confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases using either nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs. This means that the study evaluated how well the test could correctly identify individuals who were actually positive or negative for COVID-19. (Rahman)

Takeaway Of The Research

A nasal swab offers clear benefits compared to a nasopharyngeal swab, as it is more comfortable, less invasive, and can be easily collected by individuals themselves. Moreover, using nasal swabs does not require the presence of trained medical staff and helps minimize the risk of disease transmission. As a result, it can be said that the adoption of nasal swab sampling could lead to increased testing rates and contribute to lowering the spread of the virus.

If you also need nasal swab kits for your research, you can contact MBP Inc. We provide reliable, high-quality laboratory essentials and consumables that can surely assist you in your lab research and assays.

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