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Gargled Water May Be An Alternative To Swabs For COVID-19 Sample Collection: Indian Council Of Medical Research

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted a study to assess agreement between gargle lavage and swab as an appropriate respiratory sample for the detection of SARS-CoV-2

Gargled Water May Be An Alternative To Swabs For COVID-19 Sample Collection Indian Council Of Medical Research
Highlights
  • Researchers at ICMR conducted a cross-sectional study at Delhi’s AIIMS
  • The study was conducted from May-June on 50 COVID-19 patients
  • All gargle samples were comparable to corresponding swab samples: ICMR

New Delhi: A study published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that gargle lavage may be a feasible alternative to swabs for sample collection for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The primary objective of this study was to assess agreement between gargle lavage and swab as an appropriate respiratory sample for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, said ICMR. The secondary objective was to assess the patient acceptability of the two sampling methods. The top researchers at ICMR conducted a cross-sectional study at AIIMS hospital in Delhi from May-June on 50 COVID-19 patients.

Also Read: Overemphasis On Fever As A Predominant Symptom Of Coronavirus May Lead To Missing Several Cases: AIIMS Study

The ICMR study pointed out that whether the risk of aerosol generation was similar to swab collection (commonly leads to coughing and sneezing) or higher was not clear.

To minimize the risk of transmission due to aerosols and to maximize the benefits of this method of collection, it would be best to employ it for home collection. Furthermore, it cannot be used in patients who are critically ill as well as in young children/patients who may not be able to follow instructions/perform gargle, it said.

“Preliminary results of the study show that the gargle lavage may be a viable alternative to swabs for sample collection for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Adoption of gargle lavage for sample collection will have a significant impact as it will enable easy self-collection, relieve healthcare workers and also lead to substantial cost savings by reducing the need for swabs and personal protective equipment,” concluded the findings of the study.

According to the study, all gargle samples were positive and comparable to their corresponding swab samples irrespective of the symptoms and duration of illness.

Also Read: Delhi Sero Survey Results: 29.1 Per Cent People Have Developed Antibodies Against COVID-19, Says Health Minister

The cycle threshold (C ) values for gargle samples were slightly higher but comparable to those of swabs. The majority (72%) of the patients reported moderate to severe discomfort with swab collection in comparison to 24 per cent reporting only mild discomfort with gargle collection, it said adding that bland-altman plot showed good agreement between the two methods.

According to ICMR, swab collection has several drawbacks also as it requires training, exposes the healthcare workers (HCWs) to the virus-containing aerosols and has poor patient acceptability and is resource-intensive.

Also Read: Study From United States Suggests COVID-19 Cannot Be Transmitted Through Breast Milk

An alternative sample collection method that could overcome most of these limitations without compromising the yield of the test is the need of the hour. One such method is the collection of gargle lavage. Although the use of gargle specimens is not new, at present, there is little published information on the suitability of gargle specimens to diagnose SARS- CoV-2 infection, the study highlighted.

“Paired Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab (NPS and OPS) and gargle samples were taken within 72 hours of their diagnosis. Samples were processed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2. Post-sample collection, a 10-point scale was administered to assess the level of discomfort with either of the collection methods,” stated the study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR).

Also Read: Here’s What You Should Know About Pune’s Sero-Survey Result

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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World

26,27,61,966Cases
22,35,18,265Active
3,40,28,506Recovered
52,15,195Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,27,61,966 and 52,15,195 have died; 22,35,18,265 are active cases and 3,40,28,506 have recovered as on December 1, 2021 at 3:56 am.

India

3,45,96,776 8,954Cases
99,0231,520Active
3,40,28,506 10,207Recovered
4,69,247 267Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,96,776 confirmed cases including 4,69,247 deaths. The number of active cases is 99,023 and 3,40,28,506 have recovered as on December 1, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,35,658 678

11,226 299

64,83,435 942

1,40,997 35

Kerala

51,41,814 4,723

44,314 824

50,57,368 5,370

40,132 177

Karnataka

29,96,148 291

6,445 462

29,51,492 745

38,211 8

Tamil Nadu

27,26,917 720

8,244 47

26,82,192 758

36,481 9

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,909 184

2,149 47

20,56,318 134

14,442 3

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,399 12

89 3

16,87,399 8

22,911 1

West Bengal

16,16,083 705

7,731 2

15,88,866 694

19,486 13

Delhi

14,40,934 34

287 2

14,15,549 32

25,098

Odisha

10,49,108 228

2,188 23

10,38,509 203

8,411 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,813 34

318 0

9,92,902 34

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,785 15

193 6

9,45,637 9

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,475 40

275 13

8,17,108 27

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,170 20

119 7

7,82,523 27

10,528

Haryana

7,71,709 17

163 2

7,61,492 19

10,054

Bihar

7,26,223 4

36 3

7,16,524 7

9,663

Telangana

6,75,994 196

3,591 10

6,68,411 184

3,992 2

Assam

6,16,852 144

2,625 30

6,08,124 109

6,103 5

Punjab

6,03,279 21

325 4

5,86,352 22

16,602 3

Jharkhand

3,49,244 12

98 3

3,44,006 9

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,255 28

141 9

3,36,706 19

7,408

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,852 171

1,625 1

3,30,751 172

4,476

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,195 102

834 10

2,22,513 91

3,848 1

Goa

1,78,928 38

284 8

1,75,260 30

3,384

Mizoram

1,35,175 365

3,751 54

1,30,927 415

497 4

Puducherry

1,28,924 31

284 12

1,26,768 43

1,872

Manipur

1,25,205 36

649 6

1,22,579 40

1,977 2

Tripura

84,805 14

81 3

83,900 10

824 1

Meghalaya

84,480 19

294 9

82,713 9

1,473 1

Chandigarh

65,465 9

65 7

64,580 2

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,276 3

35 0

54,961 3

280

Sikkim

32,242 9

124 3

31,715 6

403

Nagaland

32,122 13

133 7

31,293 20

696

Ladakh

21,578 38

276 26

21,088 12

214

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

24 0

10,319

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,683

6 2

7,548 2

129

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