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PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-297073

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology is an emerging tool to monitor COVID-19 infection levels by measuring the concentration of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in wastewater. There remains a need to improve wastewater RNA extraction methods' sensitivity, speed, and reduce reliance on often expensive commercial reagents to make wastewater-based epidemiology more accessible. We present a kit-free wastewater RNA extraction method, titled "Sewage, Salt, Silica and SARS-CoV-2" (4S), that employs the abundant and affordable reagents sodium chloride (NaCl), ethanol and silica RNA capture matrices to recover 6-fold more SARS-CoV-2 RNA from wastewater than an existing ultrafiltration-based method. The 4S method concurrently recovered pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) and human 18S ribosomal subunit rRNA, both suitable as fecal concentration controls. The SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations measured in three sewersheds corresponded to the relative prevalence of COVID-19 infection determined via clinical testing. Lastly, controlled experiments indicate that the 4S method prevented RNA degradation during storage of wastewater samples, was compatible with heat pasteurization, and could be performed in approximately 3 hours. Overall, the 4S method is promising for effective, economical, and accessible wastewater-based epidemiology for SARS-CoV-2, providing another tool to fight the global pandemic. SYNOPSIS: The 4S method for measuring SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater is promising for effective, economical, and accessible wastewater-based epidemiology. Abstract art:

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