Saliva Sputum

Saliva, Sputum Master Mixes

Saliva has been extensively studied as a diagnostic specimen due to its non-invasive and simple sample collection/logistics and similar to serum, saliva contains hormones, antibodies, growth factors, enzymes, microbes that can be used as biomarkers for disease detection. However, there have been challenges adopting saliva for molecular assay diagnostics due to the low concentration of analytes and high concentration of PCR inhibitors in saliva. 

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Enhanced Saliva and Sputum Master Mix Solutions

Cumbersome sample preparation steps have been required to homogenize the specimen and adequately purify the DNA/RNA. 

Meridian’s direct saliva master mixes are designed to specifically overcome the inhibitors found in saliva and sputum samples. As a result, they are capable of highly sensitive detection in multiplex assays, either using extracted DNA or RNA or crudely processed samples. No further optimization is required aside from the addition of primers and probes. 

  • Ultra-sensitive detection down to less than 10 copies of DNA or RNA using direct amplification protocols.
  • Inhibitor-tolerant to PCR inhibitors found in saliva (60%) and Universal Transport Medium – UTM (50%).
  • Can be used in a liquid or dry format, reducing the cost and complexity of creating ambient-temperature stable assays.

Meridian offers ready to use saliva, 4x concentrated, glycerol-free master mixes for PCR and isothermal amplification, that have been formulated for direct use with crude lysates that can be used in a wet format or lyophilized and air-dried to create fast, ultra-sensitive ambient-temperature stable assays.


Saliva is a complex fluid containing various enzymes, electrolytes, proteins, nucleic acids, antimicrobial constituents, hormones, cytokines, and antibodies. Its composition virtually reflects the entire state of health and disease in a body, and it has the potential of being a diagnostic medium for a broad range of diseases, such as cancer and infectious agents, CMV, HIV, respiratory viruses (avian influenza viruses and coronaviruses) and bacterial infections.

Saliva testing is compliance with painless, non-invasive sample collection from the patient, making it ideal for use with children or patients that will not comply with blood collections or even intrusive nasal swabs. Saliva tests and sputum tests also increase the efficiency of collection while minimizing sample handling and reducing handling errors.

With Meridian’s direct saliva master mixes, you can see down to less than 10 copies.

This will depend on what you are testing for and the amount, for example with SARS-CoV-2 heating to 95°C for 10 minutes has been shown to be beneficial, particularly with low viral loads, however Zika virus does not need pre-treatment, whereas some bacteria may require strong pre-treatment (such as proteinase K and heat inactivation).

We do not see a performance difference between the two master mixes.

They are compatible with standard cycling conditions and can also be used with very fast cycling conditions, however some assay development may be required for the volume of saliva that is needed for a molecular assay.

It is stable for up to 2 years at ambient temperature if correctly stored in sealed pouches.

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