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Sci Total Environ ; 778: 146198, 2021 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121857


Human sewage from Florianopolis (Santa Catarina, Brazil) was analyzed for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV2) from October 2019 until March 2020. Twenty five ml of sewage samples were clarified and viruses concentrated using a glycine buffer method coupled with polyethylene glycol precipitation, and viral RNA extracted using a commercial kit. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by RT-qPCR using oligonucleotides targeting N1, S and two RdRp regions. The results of all positive samples were further confirmed by a different RT-qPCR system in an independent laboratory. S and RdRp amplicons were sequenced to confirm identity with SARS-CoV-2. Genome sequencing was performed using two strategies; a sequence-independent single-primer amplification (SISPA) approach, and by direct metagenomics using Illumina's NGS. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on 27th November 2019 (5.49 ± 0.02 log10 SARS-CoV-2 genome copies (GC) L-1), detection being confirmed by an independent laboratory and genome sequencing analysis. The samples in the subsequent three events were positive by all RT-qPCR assays; these positive results were also confirmed by an independent laboratory. The average load was 5.83 ± 0.12 log10 SARS-CoV-2 GC L-1, ranging from 5.49 ± 0.02 log10 GC L-1 (27th November 2019) to 6.68 ± 0.02 log10 GC L-1 (4th March 2020). Our findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 was likely circulating undetected in the community in Brazil since November 2019, earlier than the first reported case in the Americas (21st January 2020).

COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Brazil , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage