Spit Lab

The DU Spit Lab serves as the University’s public health laboratory and response organization. Established in January 2021 as part of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spit Lab has proven to be a valuable asset in disease surveillance and monitoring at DU and across the City and County of Denver.

The Spit Lab conducts molecular diagnostic testing for a host of viral based communicable diseases using the Saliva Express test, which utilizes saliva to conduct a polymerase chain reaction in our proprietary testing assay. We offer laboratory services for SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and B, Monkeypox Virus and Norovirus. Additional testing capacity is expected to become available in the coming months.

Our data has consistently demonstrated that the Saliva Express PCR testing is safer, cheaper and more accurate than nasopharyngeal PCR testing. We are proud to boast robust turnaround times with results available in 24 hours and often in eight.


In addition to the Saliva Express testing, the Spit Lab is proud to be designated a National Wastewater Surveillance System Center of Excellence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We partner with the State of Colorado and municipal water utilities to provide subject matter expertise.

The Spit Lab has four components: