ImmunoScience, Inc. has developed a line of rapid diagnostic tests that use saliva instead of blood, serum or urine. The Salivax™ product line consists of tests for HIV 1/2, with plans to develop products for Hepatitis B and C, syphilis and cancer screening.
The basic test is a flow-through, immunochromatographic assay, composed of a cassette that holds a membrane embedded with specific antigens. When a saliva sample flows through the device, antibodies in the fluid bind to the membrane antigens, yielding a positive color reaction. The tests are adapted for each specific analyte by changing solid-phase binding reagents and formulations. The reagents used in the tests are stable from 34°F to 104°F. Saliva is a very easily and safely obtainable body fluid that contains antibodies to various infectious agents. It is also unique in that the fluid itself is rarely infectious, if at all, and so can be handled with ease even by nonspecialized personnel.