Chapter 15

Biomarkers in Saliva as a Tool for Health Diagnosis

Ana M. Moreno-Fuentes and Carmen Nieto-Sánchez

Abstract

Over the last years, there has been an increasing attention over the use of saliva as a proper diagnostic fluid. One of the most interesting aspects in saliva based diagnosis is the non-invasive method of obtaining oral samples. This is a safe method for both, the health worker and the patient, related to the management of saliva samples. The utility of the whole saliva sample as an instrument of salivary diagnosis has been proven in almost all the research fields. The relation between saliva based components and blood based components has been proven and hence, salivary diagnosis could be a proper and accurate tool for disease diagnosis. The research of salivary biomarkers in viral and bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases, endocrine diseases, oncology, systemic diseases, stress assessment, medication detection and forensic science among others, is becoming a reality. It is expected that, with the help of current technological advances, salivary analysis which owns the analytical sensitivity and specificity required for this technology, could be used as a valuable tool and a diagnostic medium to achieve successful findings. However, there is a lot of work to do due to the fact that, some results from certain investigations still remain contradictory. Definitions of Words and Terms According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a Biomarker is an objectively measured and evaluated indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic intervention [1]. Saliva is a complex fluid composed of different secretions from the major and minor salivary glands.

Total Pages: 436-468 (33)

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