iGene Laboratory Launches Saliva-Based COVID-19 PCR Tests in Singapore


In a move towards easing the uncomfortable nature of nasal swabs, a new saliva-based COVID-19 PCR test is now available at select iGene Laboratory partner clinics throughout Singapore.

The test can detect all COVID-19 variant strains among the known to date, including the recent Omicron variant. The saliva-based COVID-19 PCR test is also accepted as a pre-departure traveller test to countries such as Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S.

Serving medical professionals and patients across Southeast Asia, iGene Laboratory is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of medical diagnostics developer, INEX Innovate headquartered in Singapore.

INEX Innovate’s Chief Executive Officer, Kane Black said: “Saliva sampling compares favourably with the invasive nasopharyngeal (nasal) swab that is currently being used. We see this being particularly positive for children and elderly adults who generally experience greater discomfort during the testing process.”

The saliva-based test uses the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) methodology to enable detection of viral Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), the genetic material of COVID-19, thereby identifying those with an active COVID-19 infection.

Non-Invasive Approach To COVID-19 Testing

By taking a non-invasive approach, this test collects saliva pooled from the mouth cavity eliminating the need for healthcare professionals to collect nasopharyngeal swabs.

“Saliva testing has always been challenging due to the viscosity of saliva and contaminants that may be present in this type of specimen. However, our proprietary design and protocol overcomes such challenges and is equivalent to a standard PCR test that detects COVID-19 from a nasopharyngeal or nasal swab,” said Black.

“By eliminating the need for invasive nasal swabs, travellers, children and the elderly will benefit the most from the ease and speed of saliva testing, administered at all our partner clinics across Singapore,” he added.

When visiting a partner clinic for COVID-19 testing, pre-departure travellers as well as individuals looking for standard testing might have the option to take a saliva sample, offered Black.

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