Liver disease can often be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be vague and easily confused with other health problems. In some cases, a person may be having no symptoms at all but the liver may already have suffered significant damage. 70 percent of the people with chronic liver disease do not know they have it.
When encountered with the symptoms of liver disease (jaundice, a swollen abdomen or tenderness in the area of the liver) few liver tests will be prescribed by the doctor to determine if your liver is functioning properly and to help discover what may be affecting your liver. The liver tests will include a group of blood tests, Imaging tests, CT scan, MRI and ultrasound which might be an expensive and a difficult process to diagnose.
A newly developed novel test which is an alternative for diagnosing liver disease would be an easier and less expensive treatment. Currently the only way to detect liver damage is through blood test that checks for antibodies and Stool tests that check for genetic materials. Both can be difficult to collect from patients in the field and evaluating them requires resources that are often limited in our country.
However, the new saliva test which uses “Oral Fluid” rather than blood or stool is a different platform to detect antigens that are attached to fluorescent beads. These beads can circulate more easily through a liquid, potentially encountering more antibodies to a disease if they are present in saliva. Another advantage with this bead-based technology is that it allows for testing a number of different antigen targets with the same saliva sample. Eventually one could test multiple different infections in a single saliva sample. In additional, you can also prevent yourself from any contagious infections that origin due to reuse of unsterilized needles or sharing of injecting equipment.
The findings also showed that the saliva test scored high as far as sensitivity and specificity which is an important indicator of test accuracy. Also, nearly matched the performance of the blood test widely used to assess recent or past liver infections. Blood samples have many requirements that saliva samples don’t, such as personnel specially trained for collection, the need to protect samples from heat and sanitary disposal of needles.