The saliva test would be a simple, noninvasive way to prevent or monitor those conditions, note the scientists, who included Paturi Rao, MD, of Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences University in Hyderabad, India.
Rao's team compared proteins in saliva samples from 10 people with type 2 diabetes, 20 people with prediabetes, and 10 healthy people.
Several of those proteins were more abundant in the diabetes patients than people with prediabetes. So if levels of those proteins start rising, that might mark the shift from prediabetes to diabetes, note Rao and colleagues.
The saliva test for diabetes and prediabetes isn't ready for mainstream use. First, it needs to be tested on larger groups of people.
Rao's team describes the test in detail in the Journal of Proteome Research. Several of the researchers work for DiabetOmics, a Beaverton, Ore., company that is developing the saliva test.