Infrared Based Saliva Screening Test for COVID-19

Bayden R. Wood, Kamila Kochan, Diana E. Bedolla, Natalia Salazar-Quiroz, Samantha L. Grimley, David Perez-Guaita, Matthew J. Baker, Jitraporn Vongsvivut, Mark J. Tobin, Keith R. Bambery, Dale Christensen, Shivani Pasricha, Anthony K. Eden, Aaron Mclean, Supti Roy, Jason A. Roberts, Julian Druce, Deborah A. Williamson, Julie McAuley, Mike CattonDamian F.J. Purcell, Dale I. Godfrey, Philip Heraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17102-17107
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021


  • COVID-19 diagnostic
  • Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • saliva
  • SARS-CoV-2

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