A comparison of oral fluid collection devices for use in the surveillance of virus diseases in children

A. J. Vyse*, B. J. Cohen, Mary Ramsay

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Three oral fluid collection devices (OraSure, Omni-SAL and Oracol) were compared in terms of the quality of oral fluid collected by each device for antibody testing and their acceptability to participants. Participants (143 children aged 3.5-5 y from North Hertfordshire, UK, who had recently received DTaP and MMR vaccination) were randomised to use one of the three types of collection device. Oral fluid was collected by a parent who completed a short questionaire recording information on ease of use and willingness to use the device again. A matching serum sample was collected by a nurse. Oral fluid samples were screened for total IgG and IgM by ELISA and for rubella specific IgG and parvovirus specific IgG by radioimmunoassay. Serum samples were screened for rubella specific IgG and parvovirus B19 specific IgG by ELISA. 87.4% (125) of participants provided a matching oral fluid and serum sample. Of these, 100% (125) and 10.4% (13) had serum IgG specific for rubella and parvovirus B19, respectively. The Oracol device provided oral fluid samples with the highest geometric mean titres of total IgG and IgM and with rubella specific IgG results which correlated most closely with those of matching sera. A higher proportion of parents found the Oracol and OraSure devices easier to use than the Omni-SAL (P < 0.001) and the proportion who would not take another test was higher for the Omni-SAL than for the Oracol or Orasure. Oral fluid samples collected by each of the devices gave qualitative results acceptable for surveillance and epidemiological studies of rubella and parvovirus B19. The highest quality oral fluid sample for antibody testing in terms of total IgG and IgM concentration and rubella specific IgG concentration was collected by the Oracol. The acceptability to participants of both the Oracol and OraSure was high. As the cheapest device available, the Oracol is the preferred oral fluid collection device for studies involving children in the UK.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-207
    Number of pages7
    JournalPublic Health
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Acceptability
    • Collection device
    • Oral fluid


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