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1.
Water Res X ; 12: 100111, 2021 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331293

ABSTRACT

Wastewater surveillance for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA can be integrated with COVID-19 case data to inform timely pandemic response. However, more research is needed to apply and develop systematic methods to interpret the true SARS-CoV-2 signal from noise introduced in wastewater samples (e.g., from sewer conditions, sampling and extraction methods, etc.). In this study, raw wastewater was collected weekly from five sewersheds and one residential facility. The concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples were compared to geocoded COVID-19 clinical testing data. SARS-CoV-2 was reliably detected (95% positivity) in frozen wastewater samples when reported daily new COVID-19 cases were 2.4 or more per 100,000 people. To adjust for variation in sample fecal content, four normalization biomarkers were evaluated: crAssphage, pepper mild mottle virus, Bacteroides ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and human 18S rRNA. Of these, crAssphage displayed the least spatial and temporal variability. Both unnormalized SARS-CoV-2 RNA signal and signal normalized to crAssphage had positive and significant correlation with clinical testing data (Kendall's Tau-b (τ)=0.43 and 0.38, respectively), but no normalization biomarker strengthened the correlation with clinical testing data. Locational dependencies and the date associated with testing data impacted the lead time of wastewater for clinical trends, and no lead time was observed when the sample collection date (versus the result date) was used for both wastewater and clinical testing data. This study supports that trends in wastewater surveillance data reflect trends in COVID-19 disease occurrence and presents tools that could be applied to make wastewater signal more interpretable and comparable across studies.

2.
Environ Sci Technol ; 55(8): 4880-4888, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147821

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 sixfold 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, which have been proposed 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 in our experience, 20 samples can be processed by one lab technician in approximately 2 h. 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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sewage , Silicon Dioxide , Sodium Chloride , Waste Water
3.
mBio ; 12(1)2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066817

ABSTRACT

Viral genome sequencing has guided our understanding of the spread and extent of genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes are usually sequenced from nasopharyngeal swabs of individual patients to track viral spread. Recently, RT-qPCR of municipal wastewater has been used to quantify the abundance of SARS-CoV-2 in several regions globally. However, metatranscriptomic sequencing of wastewater can be used to profile the viral genetic diversity across infected communities. Here, we sequenced RNA directly from sewage collected by municipal utility districts in the San Francisco Bay Area to generate complete and nearly complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes. The major consensus SARS-CoV-2 genotypes detected in the sewage were identical to clinical genomes from the region. Using a pipeline for single nucleotide variant calling in a metagenomic context, we characterized minor SARS-CoV-2 alleles in the wastewater and detected viral genotypes which were also found within clinical genomes throughout California. Observed wastewater variants were more similar to local California patient-derived genotypes than they were to those from other regions within the United States or globally. Additional variants detected in wastewater have only been identified in genomes from patients sampled outside California, indicating that wastewater sequencing can provide evidence for recent introductions of viral lineages before they are detected by local clinical sequencing. These results demonstrate that epidemiological surveillance through wastewater sequencing can aid in tracking exact viral strains in an epidemic context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sewage/virology , Base Sequence , COVID-19/epidemiology , California/epidemiology , Environmental Microbiology , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Humans , Metagenome , Metagenomics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Transcriptome
4.
RNA ; 26(7): 771-783, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-154676

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic presents a serious public health crisis, and a better understanding of the scope and spread of the virus would be aided by more widespread testing. Nucleic-acid-based tests currently offer the most sensitive and early detection of COVID-19. However, the "gold standard" test pioneered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention takes several hours to complete and requires extensive human labor, materials such as RNA extraction kits that could become in short supply, and relatively scarce qPCR machines. It is clear that a huge effort needs to be made to scale up current COVID-19 testing by orders of magnitude. There is thus a pressing need to evaluate alternative protocols, reagents, and approaches to allow nucleic-acid testing to continue in the face of these potential shortages. There has been a tremendous explosion in the number of papers written within the first weeks of the pandemic evaluating potential advances, comparable reagents, and alternatives to the "gold-standard" CDC RT-PCR test. Here we present a collection of these recent advances in COVID-19 nucleic acid testing, including both peer-reviewed and preprint articles. Due to the rapid developments during this crisis, we have included as many publications as possible, but many of the cited sources have not yet been peer-reviewed, so we urge researchers to further validate results in their own laboratories. We hope that this review can urgently consolidate and disseminate information to aid researchers in designing and implementing optimized COVID-19 testing protocols to increase the availability, accuracy, and speed of widespread COVID-19 testing.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 Testing , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/instrumentation , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/instrumentation , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , United States , Workflow
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