CSM examines alternative Covid test

The Scientific Centre of Monaco is exploring a new type of Covid screening as an alternative to the widely-used nasal tests, forming part of a larger study of this world-first alternative.

The Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM) and the Department of Health Action (DASA) are working together on the new Covid cellular test as an alternative to the current PCR test widely in use.

“The tests are being evaluated as samples at the cell level and they must absolutely validate the quality of the samples and not get lost in sensitivity,” explained Professor Patrick Rampal on the government channelMonaco Info. “There is now the possibility of a cellular test using saliva.”

A first-of-its-kind study is being undertaken to try out the new tests that could include swabs from the gums or saliva, using a rather large pool of participants to gauge the promising alternative.

Thomas Althus, an epidemiological doctor at DASA-CSM says, “The name of the study is called Cordage and this allows you to compare different oral techniques and the method of reference. The reference is the nasopharyngeal PCR study which began a few days ago and for the moment we support the participation majority. It is a first of its kind study with 1,500 participants which allows extremely robust conclusions.”

The first results of the study will be published in about two months.

The Principality already offers a range of Covid testing options, the most popular being the PCR blood test, the PCR nasal swab, and the antigen nasal swab.

Photo by Stephane Danna / Government Communication Department