Invitae's saliva sample collection kit provides the materials and instructions for collecting and stabilizing saliva specimens. Please do not use buccal swabs or any other collection kit.
Before collecting a saliva sample using Invitae's kit, do not remove the plastic film from the funnel lid. The following tips can optimize saliva collection:
- Before providing the sample, the patient should not drink (even water) for 30 minutes
Collecting saliva too soon after drinking anything, including water, dilutes saliva and reduces the amount of DNA.
- Before providing the sample, the patient should not eat, smoke, or chew gum for 30 minutes
In addition to diluting the sample, eating could introduce non-human DNA to the sample.
- Bubbles do not count
Make sure that the liquid saliva reaches the “Fill to” line; any bubbles should be above the line. This will ensure that enough saliva is collected.
- Ongoing medical treatment
If the patient is undergoing medical treatment that reduces their white blood cell count (such as chemotherapy), it’s best to wait until the white blood cell count has returned to normal before providing a saliva sample.
It’s easier to collect large amounts of saliva in the mouth before spitting (rather than spitting small amounts more often).
It takes most people 2 to 5 minutes to provide a saliva sample. If your patient is still having trouble, the following suggestions can help increase saliva production:
- Closing the mouth and wiggling the tongue
- Gently rubbing the outside of the cheeks, just behind the back teeth
- Making chewing motions with the mouth
- Smelling or imagining smelling sour foods such as lemons
- Thinking about one's own favorite food
If the suggestions above don’t work, try placing a few granules of sugar (just enough to taste it) or one drop of lemon juice on the tongue. This small amount of food won’t affect the results and could help stimulate saliva.
Once the patient is ready to provide a saliva sample, follow these steps:
- Ask the patient to spit into funnel until the amount of liquid saliva (not bubbles) reaches the fill line.
- Hold the tube upright with one hand. Close the funnel lid with the other hand by firmly pushing the lid until you hear a loud click. The liquid in the lid will be released into the tube and mixed with the saliva. Make sure that the lid is closed tightly.
- We request that a full 2 mL of saliva be donated prior to capping the kits to be valid for our genomic analysis. Should you not have completed the 2-mL donation before capping the tube, please request another collection kit.
- Hold the tube upright. Unscrew the funnel from the tube.
- Use the small cap to close the tube tightly.
- Shake the capped tube for 5 seconds. Discard or recycle the funnel.
After completing the saliva donation, there are no special storage requirements for shipping the tube to Invitae. The saliva kit is stable at room temperature. For more information, please contact Client Services.