Background: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Human C-reactive protein (CRP) has been used in the risk assessment of coronary events. Human saliva mirrors the body's health and well-being and is non-invasive, easy to collect and ideal for third world countries as well as for large patient screening. The aim was to establish a saliva CRP reference range and to demonstrate the clinical utility of salivary CRP levels in assessing the coronary events in a primary health care setting. Methods: We have used a homogeneous bead based assay to detect CRP levels in human saliva. We have developed a rapid 15. min (vs 90. min), sequential, one-step assay to detect CRP in saliva. Saliva was collected from healthy volunteers (n = 55, ages 20-70. years) as well as from cardiac patients (n = 28, ages 43-86. years). Results: The assay incubation time was optimised from 90. min to 15. min and generated a positive correlation (n = 29, range 10-2189. pg/mL, r2 = 0.94; Passing Bablok slope 0.885, Intercept 0, p > 0.10), meaning we could decrease the incubation time and produce equivalent results with confidence. The mean CRP level in the saliva of healthy human volunteers was 285. pg/mL and in cardiac patients was 1680. pg/mL (p < 0.01). Analysis of CRP concentrations in paired serum and saliva samples from cardiac patients gave a positive correlation (r2 = 0.84, p < 0.001) and the salivary CRP concentration capable of distinguishing healthy from diseased patients. Conclusions: The results suggest that this minimally invasive, rapid and sensitive assay will be useful in large patient screening studies for risk assessment of coronary events.
- Cardiovascular risk factors
- High-sensitive C-reactive protein assay
- Homogeneous bead based assay
- Human saliva