Pittsburgh lab offers alternative to COVID testing – WPXI

PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh-based diagnostic lab offers an alternative to COVID-19 nasal testing. SDx Labs has quadrupled the number of saliva PCR tests in recent weeks. The company has processed more than 11,000 tests since July, in its laboratory on the North Shore.

Samples go through a lengthy extraction and testing procedure.

“It’s a little more difficult due to the variation in the saliva samples we receive, but we believe that, in general, people’s experience and the accuracy of the tests we perform are worth it,” said said CEO David Colaizzi.

The testing was a natural transition for Colaizzi, whose team has been performing healthcare diagnostics for years. Last spring, he started researching a COVID-19 PCR test that was less invasive than nasal swabs. Since Christmas, the company has had to triple its technicians to cope with the workload.

“About 4,000 a week now,” Colaizzi said. “Thanks to the pace at which we are currently, with the high demand with the omicron variant, in particular with the holidays. “

The tests are now available in 50 pharmacies in the region and at the company’s head office on the North Shore.

A pharmacist told us that the saliva test has become popular with children, especially those over the age of 4.

“From the age of 4 or 5, depending on the child’s ability to spit, hopefully they should be able to fill that test tube about an inch full with saliva … with very young kids, it’s a challenge, ”said Ron Obringer, a pharmacist with Spartan Pharmacy in Bethel Park.

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