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Saliva test being developed for asthma

AAP logoAAP 16/09/2016 John von Radowitz

A saliva test for asthma developed by British scientists could provide a simple and more effective way to identify and monitor the condition.

The lung function tests currently used can be inaccurate and other procedures involving blood or urine samples may be distressing for children.

Testing saliva for signature "biomarkers" - chemicals linked to asthma - could be carried out easily without upsetting even the very youngest patients.

Lead scientist Professor Colin Creaser, from Loughborough University, said: "Unlike other sampling methods, such as expired breath analysis, saliva can be collected by passive drool from the very young to the very old without causing distress."

Before the test can be rolled out for general use it will have to be validated by further studies.

As well as helping to spot early signs of asthma, the test could be used to track the severity and progression of the disease, said the researchers.

The findings are published in the journal Analytical Methods.

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