The effects of collection and storage conditions in the field on salivary testosterone, cortisol, and sIgA values

Stacy Rosenbaum, Lee T. Gettler, Thomas W. McDade, Nikola M. Belarmino, Christopher W. Kuzawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Aim: To determine if field-typical storage and collection conditions are related to salivary testosterone (T), cortisol (cort) and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) as measured using commercially available kits. Subjects and methods: This study assessed whether storage time (∼6 months to 1.5 years) at −35 °C impacted levels of the measured biomarkers (n = 10,247 samples). For a sub-set of T samples (n = 2954), we also evaluated the impact of collection conditions, such as time spent at room temperature in participants’ homes (0–39 hours) and time spent in coolers (0.3–10 hours) in transit. Results: T was unrelated to storage and collection variables and there was no evidence of reduced sample fidelity at longer storage times. Cort samples stored at −35 °C for longer had significantly lower values, but the effect was small (β = −0.003 nmol/L/day, SE <0.001, p = 0.005). sIgA trended higher with longer storage at −35 °C (β = 0.84 µg/mL/day, SE = 0.45, p = 0.063). Collection and storage time variables did not improve the fit of any of the models except the one that evaluated cortisol. Conclusions: Salivary T was unaffected by extended storage at −35 °C and only a weak relationship was found between storage time and salivary cort or sIgA. Findings underscore the robustness of these biomarkers under field-typical freezer storage conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018


  • Steroids
  • degradation
  • field collection
  • methods
  • mucosal antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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