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Gaceta Médica Boliviana

versión impresa ISSN 1012-2966versión On-line ISSN 2227-3662


VIRREIRA, Myrna et al. Comparative study of SARS CoV-2 detection by RT-PCR in nasopharyngeal swab and saliva samples: a pilot study in Bolivia. Gac Med Bol [online]. 2022, vol.45, n.2, pp.99-103.  Epub 01-Dic-2022. ISSN 1012-2966.


Nasopharyngeal swab sampling for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 is a standard method for the diagnosis of COVID-19, but its collection usually causes discomfort in the patient and exposes healthcare workers to a higher risk. Saliva seems to be a good alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs, as it is non-invasive, reduces the risk of contamination of healthcare workers, and allows self-collection. This study aims to compare the ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR in the same patient using saliva and nasopharyngeal swab samples to analyze the concordance of the results obtained between the two samples.


Thirty saliva and nasopharyngeal swab samples from patients with COVID-19 symptoms who were admitted to the emergency department of the Viedma Clinical Hospital were taken in parallel. Both samples were analyzed by RT-PCR for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The concordance of results was calculated using the Cohen's Kappa coefficient.


Our results show that there is good concordance (Kappa index 0.730; 95% CI: 0.486-0.974) between the two types of samples analyzed.


Saliva seems to be a reliable and effective sample for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Palabras clave : COVID 19; SARS CoV2; nasopharyngeal swab; RT-PCR; saliva.

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