UK company Intelligent Fingerprinting has developed a saliva-based lateral flow test for the rapid detection of the COVID-19 antigen. 

In contrast to existing COVID-19 tests that require unpleasant, invasive nose and throat swabs, Intelligent Fingerprinting says its test uses a simple swab to collect a saliva sample from the inside of the cheek. 

The firm, manufacturers of the world’s first and only fingerprint sweat drug test, says the easy-to-use nature of the test makes it particularly suitable for testing more vulnerable people and children. 

It facilitates frequent testing across a range of applications including schools, workplaces, public events, care homes, healthcare, airports and prisons. Test results are available in 20 minutes – a third quicker than most current nose and throat lateral flow tests. 

“Almost everyone who has taken a nose or throat swab to test for COVID-19 knows just how unpleasant they can be. In developing our new COVID-19 saliva test, we have successfully combined the benefits of much simpler sample collection with high levels of accuracy using our existing technology,” explained Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Executive Chairman Philip Hand. 

“The introduction of our new COVID-19 test involved rapid design, development and manufacture within the UK over a 10-month period.  

“Manufacturing capacity at our Cambridge plant, utilising existing equipment and ISO 13485 quality control, is ready to support the production of millions of tests per month, and we also anticipate we will be working with existing and new distribution partners to make this test available across multiple markets.” 

The firm also says the test strip is engineered to keep plastic usage to a minimum – with none of the plastic casing present that is usually associated with lateral flow tests.