Saliva as a noninvasive alternative diagnostic fluid is gaining more and more importance nowadays, not only in human medicine but also in veterinary medicine. Various saliva collection tools and more sensitive analysis methods make the usage of saliva in laboratory diagnosis possible and practical.
This thesis describes various application fields of saliva with some historical information, situation now and future perspectives. In human medicine saliva is already inherent part of diagnostics, but the usage of saliva is still not very common in veterinary practices. Saliva cannot only be used for detection of microorganism in the oral cavity or for evaluation of oral health in general, but it is also helpful for monitoring drug abuse and/or therapeutic drug usage as well as for evaluation of metabolic and hormonal disorders. Especially for forensic cases people are more cooperative in giving saliva samples than blood or urine samples.
The main advantages of saliva is that its collection causes less stress, less pain and less risk of infection and injuries compared to blood intake. But there are disadvantages as well. The salivary composition and flow rate are easily influenced by physiological factors like food, drink, stress, collection time and species. This incident makes it difficult to produce standard values for each animal species.
Nevertheless if these problems can be solved, it is possible to use saliva for routine diagnostic as well.