Research & Publications
As compared to the gold standard nasopharyngeal swab, my research has identified saliva as a reliable sample type for the sensitive detection of Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) in healthy older adults and more recently, SARS-CoV-2 in persons suspected of Covid-19. Improved detection of the pneumococcus has unveiled more frequent colonization of older individuals than contemporary studies report on which holds importance when new vaccination strategies for preventing pneumococcal disease are being considered. For SARS-CoV-2, the use of saliva as an alternative sample type can alleviate many of the bottlenecks encountered in the mass testing strategies required to control continuing outbreaks. In an effort to address many of these issues, we further validated and optimized saliva for SARS-CoV-2 detection and developed SalivaDirect: a simple, scalable and importantly, cost-effective method to help alleviate SARS-CoV-2 testing demands.
Aged; Carrier State; Epidemiology; Microbiology; Pneumococcal Infections; Pneumonia, Pneumococcal; Public Health; Respiratory Tract Infections; Saliva; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Coronavirus Infections; Pneumococcal Vaccines; Molecular Diagnostic Techniques; Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; Microbiota
Public Health Interests
Community Health; Respiratory Disease/Infections; Microbiome; COVID-19