Spitting into a cup or licking a diagnostic test strip could someday be an attractive alternative to having your blood drawn at the doctor’s office. Researchers have identified the largest number of proteins to date in human saliva, a preliminary finding that could pave the way for more diagnostic tests based on saliva samples. Such tests show promise as a faster, cheaper and potentially safer diagnostic method than blood sampling, they say.
“There is a growing interest in saliva as a diagnostic fluid, due to its relatively simple and minimally invasive collection,” says study leader Phillip A. Wilmarth, Ph.D., of Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry in Portland, Ore. “The same proteins present in blood are also present in saliva from fluid leakage at the gum line. It is considerably easier, safer and more economical to collect saliva than to draw blood, especially for children and elderly patients.”
The study of salivary proteins is described in the Oct. 11 print issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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