The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted the study at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi

In a significant breakthrough, an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study has discovered that gargled water samples may be a feasible alternative to nasal and throat swabs for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

According to an article published by News18, the study was conducted to figure out the agreement between gargle lavage and swab as an appropriate respiratory sample for detecting the disease. The other objective was to determine the patient acceptability of the two sampling methods.

The publication reported that swab collection has drawbacks as it requires training, exposes the healthcare workers to the virus-containing aerosols and has poor patient acceptability. To overcome it, the efficient alternative will enable easy self-collection and comfort the healthcare workers.

A cross-sectional study was performed by ICMR's top researchers at AIIMS hospital in the National Capital between May-June on 50 patients infected with Covid-19.

The outcome of it was that all gargle samples confirmed positive in relation to swab samples despite symptoms and time period of illness, the News18 report said..

When swab collection was taken, 72% of the patients reported moderate-to-severe discomfort vis-à-vis during gargle collection, 24% people had only mild discomfort.

What this indicates is that gargle water may be used as a viable alternative, including for self-collection, to swabs for sample collection for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the report said.

Read the complete article in News18