Are there figures on the proportion of the student body engaging with Saliva testing? Could they be published?
My understanding is that the tests are appreciably more sensitive than rapid lateral flow tests while maintaining high specificity, hence the continuation of the programme. I get the strong impression than the convenience of LFTs has led to a drop off in saliva testing. If this is the case we would seem to be missing the opportunity to catch cases earlier and hence reduce the impact of covid on the student community.
Hello - I've received the following message for you from the saliva testing team:
"Thanks for your questions about testing at the University.
As the saliva testing programme is managed by University Hospital Southampton, we aren’t able to share any data, but you are right to note that the saliva test is more effective at detecting the virus and we encourage students to continue participating this term. There is a new paper out about this RT-LAMP has high accuracy for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in saliva and 2 naso/oropharyngeal swabs from asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals - https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.28.21259398v5.full.pdf
That said, all testing within our community is welcomed and lateral flow tests remain an important tool for stopping the spread of the virus.
Our recommendation to students this term is that they take two saliva tests per week, ideally 3-4 days apart, and then ’top up’ with lateral flow tests where a quicker result is required to attend events or visit vulnerable relatives.
It’s not too late to sign up for saliva testing, so please do encourage any friends or housemates who aren’t currently taking part".
I really hope this helps!
Thursday 3rd Feb 2022 1:37pm