Forever Lebanon Valley

New Case Study Uses Saliva to Predict Covid Risk in Children

Could the amount of a certain protein in a child’s saliva be the key to predicting whether that will have a mild or severe case of Covid-19, once they’ve been infected?

That’s the premise of a new study underway at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey overseen by Dr. Steven Hicks, a pediatrician and principal investigator.

Dr. Hicks tells the Lebanon Valley News his team of researchers is honing in on the presence of particular proteins called cytokines:

Research teams have analyzed over 150 pediatric patients so far, but hope to enroll over 400 by the end of this study. Once they finish analyzing all the data next year, a testing kit could become available in 2023.

Dr. Hicks says this research may also prove useful for adults:

Preliminary data from the Hershey test site, as well as test sites at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Wayne State University in Detroit, and Central Michigan University was presented October 8th before the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference.