Published: 25 July 2022

Skins swabs could be how we test for Covid-19 in the future

Skin swabs are "surprisingly effective" at identifying Covid-19 infection, according to new research from the University of Surrey, offering a route to a non-invasive future for Covid-19 testing. 

Covid-19 has been found to significantly change the makeup of lipids (fats and oils) of biofluids such as blood or sebum.  

By measuring changes in lipids and other metabolites of the samples, the research team observed that (with a 1.0 score being the most accurate and sensitive) blood samples scored 0.97. Skin swab tests scored 0.88, and finally saliva tests scored 0.80.   

Matt Spick, co-author and research student at the University of Surrey, commented:  

The research has been published by Scientific Reports.