The ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which impairs the functionality of several organs, represents a major threat to human health. One of the hardest challenges in the fight against COVID-19 is the development of wide-scale, effective, and rapid laboratory tests to control disease severity, progression, and possible sudden worsening. Monitoring patients in real-time is highly demanded in this pandemic era when physicians need reliable and quantitative tools to prioritize patients’ access to intensive care departments. In this regard, salivary biomarkers are extremely promising, as they allow for the fast and non-invasive collection of specimens and can be repeated multiple times. Methods: We compare salivary levels of immunoglobulin A subclasses (IgA1 and IgA2) and free light chains (kFLC and λFLC) in a cohort of 29 SARS-CoV-2 patients and 21 healthy subjects. Results: We found that each biomarker differs significantly between the two groups, with p-values ranging from 10−8 to 10−4 . A Receiving Operator Curve analysis shows that λFLC level is the best-suited candidate to discriminate the two groups (AUC = 0.96), with an accuracy of 0.94 (0.87–1.00 95% CI), a precision of 0.91 (0.81–1.00 95% CI), a sensitivity of 1.00 (0.96–1.00 95% CI), and a specificity of 0.86 (0.70–1.00 95% CI). Conclusion: These results suggest λFLC as an ideal indicator of patient conditions. This hypothesis is strengthened by the consideration that the λFLC half-life (approximately 6 h) is significantly shorter than the IgA one (21 days), thus confirming the potential of λFLC for effectively monitoring patients’ fluctuation in real-time.
- Salivary biomarkers