Infrared based saliva screening test for COVID-19

Wood, Bayden Robert and Kochan, Kamila and Bedolla, Diana E. and Salazar-Quiroz, Natalia and Grimley, Samantha and Perez-Guaita, David and Baker, Matthew J. and Vongsvivut, Jitraporn and Tobin, Mark and Bambery, Keith and Christensen, Dale and Pasricha, Shivani and Eden, Anthony K. and Mclean, Aaron and Roy, Supti and Roberts, Jason and Druce, Julian and Williamson, Deborah A. and McAuley, Julie and Catton, Mike and Purcell, Damian and Godfrey, Dale and Heruad, Philip (2021) Infrared based saliva screening test for COVID-19. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 60 (31). pp. 17102-17107. ISSN 1433-7851 (

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in an unprecedented need for diagnostic testing that is critical in controlling the spread of COVID-19. We propose a portable infrared spectrometer with purpose-built transflection accessory for rapid point-of-care detection of COVID-19 markers in saliva. Initially, purified virion particles were characterized with Raman spectroscopy, synchrotron infrared (IR) and AFM-IR. A data set comprising 171 transflection infrared spectra from 29 subjects testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR and 28 testing negative, was modeled using Monte Carlo Double Cross Validation with 50 randomized test and model sets. The testing sensitivity was 93 % (27/29) with a specificity of 82 % (23/28) that included positive samples on the limit of detection for RT-qPCR. Herein, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept high throughput infrared COVID-19 test that is rapid, inexpensive, portable and utilizes sample self-collection thus minimizing the risk to healthcare workers and ideally suited to mass screening.


Wood, Bayden Robert, Kochan, Kamila, Bedolla, Diana E., Salazar-Quiroz, Natalia, Grimley, Samantha, Perez-Guaita, David, Baker, Matthew J. ORCID logoORCID:, Vongsvivut, Jitraporn, Tobin, Mark, Bambery, Keith, Christensen, Dale, Pasricha, Shivani, Eden, Anthony K., Mclean, Aaron, Roy, Supti, Roberts, Jason, Druce, Julian, Williamson, Deborah A., McAuley, Julie, Catton, Mike, Purcell, Damian, Godfrey, Dale and Heruad, Philip;