Study of more than 4,000 children indicates that saliva samples could be new, simple tool to speed celiac diagnosis.
Researchers in Italy have flagged salivary screening as a new, non-invasive method of screening for celiac disease.
Published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, the study tested saliva samples for anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) immunoglobulin (Ig)A in 4,048 children, ages 6-8 years. Thirty-two children tested positive for salivary tTG IgA and nine had “borderline autoantibody levels,” according to researchers. Of those 41 children, 34 tested serum positive and underwent intestinal biopsy.
“Twenty-eight children showed villous atrophy when undergoing intestinal biopsy, whereas 1 had Marsh 1 lesions; 3 children were suggested to start GFD without performing endoscopy. CD prevalence in the population investigated (including 19 CD known cases) was 1.16%.”
Researchers concluded “it is possible to perform a powerful, simple, well-accepted, and sensitive CD screening using saliva.”