COVID-19 Testing in Children via Saliva Samples: The SPITS MISC Study

Severity Predictors Integrating Salivary Transcriptomics and Proteomics with Multi-neural Network Intelligence in SARS-CoV2 Infection in Children

Protocol Description

Through this multi-center study, researchers are investigating whether microRNA and cytokines that may be present in the saliva can be used as tests to predict severe COVID-19 disease in children. If found to be useful, using saliva samples to predict severity of disease will be a painless way of testing children for severe COVID-19 disease. This study is part of a group of National Institutes of Health research grants to develop approaches for identifying children at high risk for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare and severe after-effect of COVID-19 or exposure to the virus that causes it.

Eligibility Criteria

The study recruits from pediatric patients seen in the Emergency Department of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh who present with symptoms that necessitate a test for SARS-CoV2.
Boys and Girls: Up to age 18


During the Emergency Department visit, saliva samples will be collected from participants using a cheek swab. Additionally, participants or their parent/guardians will be asked to complete a survey about how the family is coping with the pandemic. Medical record information about participants will also be collected. Researchers will follow up with families by telephone 7 and 30 days after the participant is discharged from the hospital.
Visits: 1, the initial Emergency Department visit, plus telephone follow up
Duration: 30 days

Status: Enrolling by Invitation

Source(s) of Support

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health

Primary Investigator

Srinivasan Suresh MD

Contact Information

For more information about the study or enrollment, please contact:
Research Coordinator