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Validity and reliability of test strips for the measurement of salivary nitrite concentration with and without the use of mouthwash in healthy adults

Lookup NU author(s): Abrar Babateen, Dr Oliver Shannon, Professor John Mathers, Dr Mario Siervo


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© 2019 Elsevier Inc.The nitrate (NO3 −)-nitrite (NO2 −)-nitric oxide (NO) pathway has received considerable interest in recent years as a potential target for nutritional interventions designed to increase NO production, and elicit therapeutic effects in humans. In particular, studies have evaluated the effects of supplemental dietary NO3 −, which serves as a ‘substrate’ for this pathway, on numerous different health outcomes. One challenge has been to evaluate compliance with the NO3 − interventions. A recent advance in this field has been the development of a non-invasive, simple and rapid method to measure nitrite concentrations in saliva using small test salivary strips. In the present study, ten healthy adults were recruited to a randomised, crossover study and received an acute dose of NO3 −-rich beetroot juice (BJ) after rinsing their mouth with either water or commercially available antibacterial mouthwash. Salivary NO3 − and NO2 − concentrations were measured at baseline and up to 5 h after BJ consumption using the gold-standard chemiluminescence and a colorimetric Griess assay. In addition, two salivary test strips (Berkeley Test strips, CA, USA) were used to measure NO2 −concentrations at the same time points. Five observers read the strips and inter- and intra-observer reliability was measured. The Bland-Altman method was used to provide a visual representation of the agreement between the methods used to evaluate salivary NO3 −/NO2 −concentration. Sialin concentrations were measured at baseline and up to 5 h after BJ consumption. BJ elevated salivary NO3 − and NO2 − concentrations when the mouth was rinsed with water (both P < 0.01), as assessed via both chemiluminescence and Griess methods. Rinsing the mouth with antibacterial mouthwash attenuated markedly the increase in NO2 − (P < 0.001), while NO3 −concentrations were unaffected (P > 0.05). The Intra-Class Coefficients of Correlation (ICC) showed a high inter- and intra-observer reliability (r > 0.8). A significant positive correlation was found between absolute salivary NO2 − concentrations measured by strips and Griess and chemiluminescence methods (rho = 0.83 and 0.77, respectively) and also when expressed as changes in salivary NO2 − concentrations (rho = 0.80 and 0.79, respectively). Bland Altman analysis indicated a poor agreement for absolute NO2 − concentrations between salivary strips and the chemiluminescence and Griess methods. A small significant negative correlation was found between changes in salivary sialin and salivary NO2ˉ concentrations (r = −0.20, P = 0.04). A non-significant positive correlation was observed between the change in salivary sialin and salivary NO3ˉ concentrations (r = 0.18, P = 0.06). This study suggests that commercially available salivary NO2 − test strips provide a reasonable surrogate marker for monitoring changes in salivary NO2 − concentrations in humans. However, the strips do not provide accurate estimates of absolute NO2 − concentrations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Babateen AM, Shannon OM, Mathers JC, Siervo M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nitric Oxide

Year: 2019

Volume: 91

Pages: 15-22

Print publication date: 01/10/2019

Online publication date: 08/07/2019

Acceptance date: 08/07/2019

ISSN (print): 1089-8603

ISSN (electronic): 1089-8611

Publisher: Academic Press Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.niox.2019.07.002


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