AUTHORS: Janšáková, K., Kyselicová, K., Ostatníková, D. and Repiská, G.

ABSTRACT: The diagnostic process for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is based on a behavioral analysis of the suspected individual. Despite intensive research, no specific and valid biomarker has been identified for ASD, but saliva, with its advantages such as non-invasive collection, could serve as a suitable alternative to other body fluids. As a source of nucleic acid of both human and microbial origin, protein and non-protein molecules, saliva offers a complex view on the current state of the organism. Additionally, the use of salivary markers seems to be less complicated not only for ASD screening but also for revealing the etiopathogenesis of ASD, since enrolling neurotypical counterparts willing to participate in studies may be more feasible. The aim of the presented review is to provide an overview of the current research performed on saliva in relation to ASD, mutual complementing, and discrepancies that result in difficulties applying the observed markers in clinical practice. We emphasize the methodological limitations of saliva collection and processing as well as the lack of information regarding ASD diagnosis, which is critically discussed.

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 10873