Indianapolis-based Aria Diagnostic Laboratories wants to find out if a simple swipe of saliva is just as effective as nasal pharyngeal swabs when testing for viruses, such as the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The NP swab can be uncomfortable when medical workers place a swab deep inside the nasal cavity to take a sample.

Aria announced it has launched a novel study to test the efficacy of saliva swabbing. The company says it has been collecting saliva and nasal swabs for three weeks from unknown, known-positive and known negative patients.

 “We are eager to validate this new less invasive collection method so we can test people from whom an NP swab specimen can’t be obtained without significant discomfort, specifically young children and individuals with pre-existing nasal cavity issues,” said Zak Khan, co-Founder of Aria Diagnostic Laboratories.  

Khan says the goal is to have enough data by the end of the month and to begin offering the saliva method in addition to the NP collection method in early July.

“Since we began testing for the novel coronavirus, our guiding principle has always been that to get ahead of this pandemic, we need to test everyone,” said Khan.

Khan says demand remains strong, especially as a resurgence is seen in other parts of the country.

The company has opened two additional test sites in Zionsville and Fishers that will open Monday at 10:00 a.m.

  • St George Church, 10748 E 116th St, Fishers
  • Zionsville United Methodist Church, 9644 Whitestown Rd, Zionsville

Users can request a test online and set up a date and time for them to visit the drive-through testing site at one of the four locations. 

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