5 years ago

Suitability of saliva for Tuberculosis diagnosis: comparing with serum

Harriet Mayanja-Kizza, Gerhard Walzl, Paul Mubiri, Novel N. Chegou, Anna Ritah Namuganga



In the search for fast, simple and better ways for diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), there is need to discover and evaluate new biomarkers that are found in samples other than sputum to determine their effectiveness. This study examined the utility of saliva vis-a-vis serum by evaluating levels of biomarkers found in saliva and serum from TB suspects.


Study enrolled tuberculosis suspects. Sputum MGIT was used as the gold standard for active TB. Quantiferon gold-In tube assay was done to identify exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). Multiplex assay was run for 10 markers using a 10 plex customized kit from Bio-Rad Laboratories.


There was a significant difference between saliva and serum marker levels. Saliva had significantly higher levels of GM-CSF and VEGF. Serum had higher levels of MIP-1a, b, TNF-a, G-CSF and IFN-g. Serum levels of IL-6, VEGF and TNF-a were significantly different between participants with active TB disease and those with other respiratory diseases.


Salivary TB biomarkers are worth the search to evaluate their ability to differentiate between TB disease states for generation of a non invasive point of care test for TB diagnosis.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12879-017-2687-z

DOI: 10.1186/s12879-017-2687-z

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