Diagnosing hormone-based disorders using saliva samples dates back to the 1980s, but it is only the sensitivity improvements over the last decade that have led to saliva-based diagnostics becoming a viable alternative to blood testing. Biovis’ Diagnostik, a medical laboratory based in Limburg, Germany, has been at the forefront of saliva diagnostics since 2012, providing comprehensive testing to improve the analysis of hormone-based disorders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of biosurveillance to understand, control and limit the spread of human diseases. In response to the pandemic, the laboratories at PTP Science Park in Lodi, Italy, quickly enhanced their set-up, introducing various assays to gain a deeper understanding of the virus. Researchers now not only diagnose COVID-19, but also measure anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels after infection and vaccination to learn about the pathogenesis of the disease and how our immune systems respond to infection.
Blood testing is ideal for a wide range of analytes, but it has limitations for hormone analysis. In Canada, FLUIDS iQ has turned to saliva as an alternative test matrix, which is proving an excellent choice for measuring the bioavailability of a range of hormones in the wellness arena.
Food intolerances can have a major impact on the working and social life of an individual, affecting up to 45 % of the population. Unlike allergies, where a symptom appears as soon as a certain food is eaten, intolerances – chemical reactions that occur after consuming particular foods and drinks – generally develop at a slower rate. In Italy, the Bianalisi laboratory is using food intolerance testing alongside food plans and personalized diets to help chronic sufferers take control of their symptoms.
SARS-CoV-2 has hit the world by storm and testing has had a major part to play in the fight against the virus, helping to track cases and slow rates of infection. ABC Labs, based at the Karolinska campus in Stockholm, was founded soon after the start of the pandemic with the specific purpose of establishing large scale and high quality PCR and ELISA COVID-19 testing in Sweden. The laboratory analyzes thousands of tests on a daily basis in partnership with the country’s Public Health Agency and a number of regional and private healthcare providers, to help stop the virus.
Hormones are specialist chemical messengers that provide a communication system between different parts of the body. They affect everything from growth and metabolism to appetite and mood, while also playing a vital role in puberty and fertility. When hormone imbalances occur, they can lead to a number of health issues, including infertility and menopausal problems in women. Medicare PLUS is using saliva testing to identify these hormone level imbalances for individuals across Slovenia and further afield.
Maintaining a flexible approach can be difficult in biopharmaceutical research; core laboratories must balance the ability to adapt to individual project requirements with the need for efficient, high throughput processing of ever-increasing sample numbers. Novo Nordisk’s Research Bioanalysis Department has adopted a semi-automated workflow, which combines the versatility to work across the company’s various research areas with accurate and reproducible testing of thousands of samples a day.
Wild Tasmanian devils are vulnerable to a facial cancer discovered in 1996 and identified as a transmissible tumor a decade later. The contagious disease originated in northeastern Tasmania and spread throughout the country, decimating the devil population and raising the real possibility of extinction. Scientists at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, have pioneered research into the problem – drawing upon the latest developments in human immunology and bioluminescence cytotoxicity assays – in the hope of developing a vaccine to save the island’s iconic marsupial.