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1.
Food Environ Virol ; 14(2): 199-211, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1877976

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has been monitored by applying different strategies, including SARS-CoV-2 detection with clinical testing or through wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). We used the latter approach to follow SARS-CoV-2 dispersion in Tapachula city, located in Mexico's tropical southern border region. Tapachula is a dynamic entry point for people seeking asylum in Mexico or traveling to the USA. Clinical testing facilities for SARS-CoV-2 monitoring are limited in the city. A total of eighty water samples were collected from urban and suburban rivers and sewage and a wastewater treatment plant over 4 months in Tapachula. We concentrated viral particles with a PEG-8000-based method, performed RNA extraction, and detected SARS-CoV-2 particles through RT-PCR. We considered the pepper mild mottle virus as a fecal water pollution biomarker and analytical control. SARS-CoV-2 viral loads (N1 and N2 markers) were quantified and correlated with official regional statistics of COVID-19 bed occupancy and confirmed cases (r > 91%). Our results concluded that WBE proved a valuable tool for tracing and tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in tropical countries with similar water temperatures (21-29 °C). Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 through urban and suburban river water sampling would be helpful in places lacking a wastewater treatment plant or water bodies with sewage discharges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Rivers , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sewage , Waste Water , Water
2.
Water Res ; 220: 118686, 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867893

ABSTRACT

To effectively control the ongoing outbreaks of fast-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants, there is an urgent need to add rapid variant detection and discrimination methods to the existing sewage surveillance systems established worldwide. We designed eight assays based on allele-specific RT-qPCR for real-time allelic discrimination of eight SARS-CoV-2 variants (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Omicron, Lambda, Mu, and Kappa) in sewage. In silico analysis of the designed assays for identifying SARS-CoV-2 variants using more than four million SARS-CoV-2 variant sequences yielded ∼100% specificity and >90% sensitivity. All assays could sensitively discriminate and quantify target variants at levels as low as 10 viral RNA copy/µL with minimal cross-reactivity to the corresponding nontarget genotypes, even for sewage samples containing mixtures of SARS-CoV-2 variants with differential abundances. Integration of this method into the routine sewage surveillance in Hong Kong successfully identified the Beta variant in a community sewage. Complete concordance was observed between the results of viral whole-genome sequencing and those of our novel assays in sewage samples that contained exclusively the Delta variant discharged by a clinically diagnosed COVID-19 patient living in a quarantine hotel. Our assays in this method also provided real-time discrimination of the newly emerging Omicron variant in sewage two days prior to clinical test results in another quarantine hotel in Hong Kong. These novel allelic discrimination assays offer a rapid, sensitive, and specific way for detecting multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants in sewage and can be directly integrated into the existing sewage surveillance systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Alleles , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sewage
3.
Sci Total Environ ; 838(Pt 1): 155959, 2022 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852048

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus pandemic started in March 2020 and since then has caused millions of deaths worldwide. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) can be used as an epidemiological surveillance tool to track SARS-CoV-2 dissemination and provide warning of COVID-19 outbreaks. Considering that there are public places that could be potential hotspots of infected people that may reflect the local epidemiological situation, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was analyzed by RT-qPCR for approximately 16 months in sewage samples from five public places located in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil: the sewage treatment plant of Confins International Airport (AIR), the main interstate bus terminal (BUS), an upscale shopping centre (SHC1), a popular shopping centre (SHC2) and a university institute (UNI). The results were compared to those of the influent sewage of the two main sewage treatment plants of Belo Horizonte (STP1 and STP2). Viral monitoring in the STPs proved to be an useful regional surveillance tool, reflecting the trends of COVID-19 cases. However, the viral concentrations in the samples from the selected public places were generally much lower than those of the municipal STPs, which may be due to the behaviour of the non-infected or asymptomatic people, who are likely to visit these places relatively more than the symptomatic infected ones. Among these places, the AIR samples presented the highest viral concentrations and concentration peaks were observed previously to local outbreaks. Therefore, airport sewage monitoring can provide an indication of the regional epidemiological situation. For the other places, particularly the UNI, the results suggested a greater potential to detect the infection and trace cases especially among employees and regular attendees. Taken together, the results indicate that for a regular and permanent sentinel sewage surveillance the sewage from STPs, AIR and UNI could be monitored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage , Waste Water
4.
Environ Health Perspect ; 130(5): 57008, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846899

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sewage surveillance, by detecting SARS-CoV-2 virus circulation at the community level, has the potential to supplement individual surveillance for COVID-19. However, to date, there have been no reports about the large-scale implementation and validation of sewage surveillance for public health action. OBJECTIVE: Here, we developed a standardized approach for SARS-CoV-2 detection in sewage and applied it prospectively to supplement public health interventions. METHODS: We analyzed 1,169 sewage samples collected at 492 sites from December 2020 to March 2021. Forty-seven of 492 sites tested positive, 44 (94%) of them had traceable sources of viral signals in the corresponding sewershed, either from previously unsuspected but subsequently confirmed patients or recently convalescent patients or from both patient groups. RESULTS: Sewage surveillance had a sensitivity of 54%, a specificity of 95%, a positive predictive value of 53%, and a negative predictive value of 95% for identifying a previously unsuspected patient within a sewershed. Sewage surveillance in Hong Kong provided a basis for the statutory public health action to detect silent COVID-19 transmission. DISCUSSION: Considering the epidemiological data together with the sewage testing results, compulsory testing was conducted for individual residents at 27 positive sewage sites and uncovered total of 62 previously unsuspected patients, demonstrating the value of sewage surveillance in uncovering previously unsuspected patients in the community. Our study suggests that sewage surveillance could be a powerful management tool for the control of COVID-19. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP9966.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage
5.
J Water Health ; 20(5): 816-828, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822324

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to compare statistical techniques estimating the association between SARS-CoV-2 RNA in untreated wastewater and sludge and reported coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations (copies/mL) were measured from 24-h composite samples of wastewater in Massachusetts (MA) (daily; 8/19/2020-1/19/2021) and Maine (ME) (weekly; 9/1/2020-3/2/2021) and sludge samples in Connecticut (CT) (daily; 3/1/2020-6/1/2020). We fit linear, generalized additive with a cubic regression spline (GAM), Poisson, and negative binomial models to estimate the association between SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration and reported COVID-19 cases. RESULTS: The models that fit the data best were linear [adjusted R2=0.85 (MA), 0.16 (CT), 0.63 (ME); root-mean-square error (RMSE)=0.41 (MA), 1.14 (CT), 0.99 (ME)), GAM (adjusted R2=0.86 (MA), 0.16 (CT) 0.65 (ME); RMSE=0.39 (MA), 1.14 (CT), 0.97 (ME)], and Poisson [pseudo R2=0.84 (MA), 0.21 (CT), 0.52 (ME); RMSE=0.39 (MA), 0.67 (CT), 0.79 (ME)]. CONCLUSIONS: Linear, GAM, and Poisson models outperformed negative binomial models when relating SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater or sludge to reported COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sewage , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , New England , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Waste Water
6.
Sci Total Environ ; 837: 155767, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821477

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant emerged in South Africa in November 2021, and has later been identified worldwide, raising serious concerns. A real-time RT-PCR assay was designed for the rapid screening of the Omicron variant, targeting characteristic mutations of the spike gene. The assay was used to test 737 sewage samples collected throughout Italy (19/21 Regions) between 11 November and 25 December 2021, with the aim of assessing the spread of the Omicron variant in the country. Positive samples were also tested with a real-time RT-PCR developed by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), and through nested RT-PCR followed by Sanger sequencing. Overall, 115 samples tested positive for Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant. The first occurrence was detected on 7 December, in Veneto, North Italy. Later on, the variant spread extremely fast in three weeks, with prevalence of positive wastewater samples rising from 1.0% (1/104 samples) in the week 5-11 December, to 17.5% (25/143 samples) in the week 12-18, to 65.9% (89/135 samples) in the week 19-25, in line with the increase in cases of infection with the Omicron variant observed during December in Italy. Similarly, the number of Regions/Autonomous Provinces in which the variant was detected increased from one in the first week, to 11 in the second, and to 17 in the last one. The presence of the Omicron variant was confirmed by the JRC real-time RT-PCR in 79.1% (91/115) of the positive samples, and by Sanger sequencing in 66% (64/97) of PCR amplicons. In conclusion, we designed an RT-qPCR assay capable to detect the Omicron variant, which can be successfully used for the purpose of wastewater-based epidemiology. We also described the history of the introduction and diffusion of the Omicron variant in the Italian population and territory, confirming the effectiveness of sewage monitoring as a powerful surveillance tool.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sewage , Waste Water/analysis , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring
7.
Sci Total Environ ; 836: 155576, 2022 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815155

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a public health tool utilized for drug surveillance, and more recently, infectious disease monitoring of SARS-CoV-2. Sample collection is historically performed at a wastewater treatment plant, however, at this spatial resolution, much information related to actionable and contextually relevant community health data may be lost. Sampling from within the sewer collection system is now being employed more widely, bringing unique challenges, including health and safety concerns related to sample collection. As proof of concept, we tested the efficacy of sampling at the building-level from a sewer cleanout at an undisclosed location in Greater Phoenix, AZ, USA, to (i) test the feasibility of wastewater sample collection from this alternative access point, (ii) assess the advantages and limitations experienced for both maintenance-hole and cleanout-level sampling, (iii) screen for chemical analytes to evaluate detectability, and (iv) create a sampling framework for future near-source WBE investigations. Results indicate that use of a sewer cleanout compared to a maintenance hole is cost-effective, practical, and safe, while still preserving the anonymity and privacy for the contributing population. Additionally, of the 37 biomarkers screened over two sampling events, 20 were detected that cover a wide range of human behavior, exposure, and activity, indicating use of a sewer cleanout to be entirely feasible for downstream analysis. This reported success of sewer cleanout sampling for WBE and corresponding framework may allow practitioners to isolate specific complexes or buildings of interest, while avoiding challenges that can arise from maintenance hole sampling, thus allowing for widescale implementation of WBE for public health purposes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage , Waste Water/analysis
8.
Environ Pollut ; 305: 119312, 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796873

ABSTRACT

Reuse of sewage sludge is a general trend and land application is an essential way to reuse sludge. The outbreak of coronavirus disease has raised concerns about human pathogens and their serious threat to public health. The risk of pathogenic bacterial contamination from land application of municipal sludge has not been well assessed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of pathogenic bacteria in municipal sewage sludge and to examine the survival potential of certain multidrug-resistant enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) strain isolated from sewage sludge during heat treatment. The sewage sludge produced in the two wastewater treatment plants contained pathogenic bacteria such as pathogenic E. coli, Shigella flexneri, and Citrobacter freundii. The environmental strain of EAEC isolated from the sludge was resistant to eight types of antibiotics. It could also enter the dormant state after 4.5 h of treatment at 55 °C and regrow at 37 °C, while maintaining its antibiotic resistance. Our results indicate that the dormancy of EAEC might be why it is heat-resistant and could not be killed completely during the sludge heat treatment process. Owing to the regrowth of the dormant pathogenic bacteria, it is risky to apply the sludge to land even if the sludge is heat-treated, and there is also a risk of spreading antibiotic resistance.


Subject(s)
Escherichia coli Infections , Escherichia coli , Anti-Bacterial Agents/toxicity , Escherichia coli Infections/epidemiology , Hot Temperature , Humans , Sewage/microbiology
9.
Sci Total Environ ; 833: 155140, 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783745

ABSTRACT

This study presents the results of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in sewage water of 11 municipalities and marine bioindicators in Galicia (NW of Spain) from May 2020 to May 2021. An integrated pipeline was developed including sampling, pre-treatment and biomarker quantification, RNA detection, SARS-CoV-2 sequencing, mechanistic mathematical modeling and forecasting. The viral load in the inlet stream to the wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) was used to detect new outbreaks of COVID-19, and the data of viral load in the wastewater in combination with data provided by the health system was used to predict the evolution of the pandemic in the municipalities under study within a time horizon of 7 days. Moreover, the study shows that the viral load was eliminated from the treated sewage water in the WWTP, mainly in the biological reactors and the disinfection system. As a result, we detected a minor impact of the virus in the marine environment through the analysis of seawater, marine sediments and, wild and aquacultured mussels in the final discharge point of the WWTP.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Environmental Biomarkers , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Prevalence , RNA, Viral , Sewage , Waste Water , Water
10.
Sci Total Environ ; 833: 155139, 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778446

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have shown that passive sampling is a promising tool for SARS-CoV-2 detection for wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) application. We have previously developed passive sampling of viruses using polymer membranes in seawater. Even though SARS-CoV-2 was not detected yet in seawater, passive sampling could be optimized for future application in coastal areas close to wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The aim of this study was to optimize passive sampling of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and seawater by selecting a suitable membrane, to determine whether the quantities of virus increase over time, and then to determine if passive sampling and traditional sampling are correlated when conducted in a wastewater treatment plant. Nylon and Zetapor allowed the detection of heat inactivated SARS-CoV-2 and of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), a coronavirus surrogate, in wastewater and seawater spiked with these 2 viruses, showing an increase in detection between 4 h and 24 h of immersion and significantly higher recoveries of both viruses with nylon in seawater (15%) compared to wastewater (4%). On wastewater samples, both membranes detected the virus, the recovery rate was of about 3% for freshly collected samples, and no significant difference was found between SARS-CoV-2 genome concentration on Zetapor and that in water. In sewage spiked seawater, similar concentrations of genome were found on both membranes, with a mean recovery rate of 16% and 11% respectively for nylon and Zetapor. A 3-weeks monitoring with passive sampler allowed the detection of viruses in the influent of a WWTP with a frequency of 100% and 76% for SARS-CoV-2 and norovirus GII respectively. Passive and traditional sampling gave the same evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 concentration over time. All these results confirmed the interest of passive sampling for virus detection and its potential application for monitoring in the wastewater system for targeted public health actions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viruses , Animals , Nylons , SARS-CoV-2 , Seawater , Sewage , Swine , Waste Water
11.
Sci Total Environ ; 755(Pt 1): 142575, 2021 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768521

ABSTRACT

Humanity has experienced outbreaks by viruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) in 2003, Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, Ebola virus in 2014 and nowadays SARS-CoV-2. While clinicians seek for a vaccine to reduce the epidemic outbreak, environmental engineers need to understand consequence of virus entity in sewage given the reported persistency of viruses in human feces and sewage environments for more than days. Herein, we discuss about concerns associated with virus occurrence in human feces and sewage, with attention to the possible SARS-CoV-2 transmission routes, based on the review of recent studies on SARS-CoV-2 as well as the previous pandemic events. Given the reported environmental stability of coronavirus, the feces- and sewage-derived transmission routes may be of importance to prevent unprecedented spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) particularly in developing countries. However, so far, limited number of studies detected infectious SARS-CoV-2 even in human feces, whereas a number of virus RNA copies were identified in both feces and sewage specimens. Therefore, uncertainty remains in the possibility of this transmission pathway, and further investigation is warranted in future studies, for example, by increasing the number of specimens, examining the effectiveness of methods for viral viability test, considering the patient medical history, and so forth.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Feces , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage
12.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 88(7): e0228921, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741571

ABSTRACT

Monitoring the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 variants is necessary to make informed public health decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. PCR assays have received global attention, facilitating a rapid understanding of variant dynamics because they are more accessible and scalable than genome sequencing. However, as PCR assays target only a few mutations, their accuracy could be reduced when these mutations are not exclusive to the target variants. Here we introduce PRIMES, an algorithm that evaluates the sensitivity and specificity of SARS-CoV-2 variant-specific PCR assays across different geographical regions by incorporating sequences deposited in the GISAID database. Using PRIMES, we determined that the accuracy of several PCR assays decreased when applied beyond the geographic scope of the study in which the assays were developed. Subsequently, we used this tool to design Alpha and Delta variant-specific PCR assays for samples from Illinois, USA. In silico analysis using PRIMES determined the sensitivity/specificity to be 0.99/0.99 for the Alpha variant-specific PCR assay and 0.98/1.00 for the Delta variant-specific PCR assay in Illinois, respectively. We applied these two variant-specific PCR assays to six local sewage samples and determined the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant of either the wild type, the Alpha variant, or the Delta variant. Using next-generation sequencing (NGS) of the spike (S) gene amplicons of the Delta variant-dominant samples, we found six mutations exclusive to the Delta variant (S:T19R, S:Δ156/157, S:L452R, S:T478K, S:P681R, and S:D950N). The consistency between the variant-specific PCR assays and the NGS results supports the applicability of PRIMES. IMPORTANCE Monitoring the introduction and prevalence of variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs) in a community can help the local authorities make informed public health decisions. PCR assays can be designed to keep track of SARS-CoV-2 variants by measuring unique mutation markers that are exclusive to the target variants. However, the mutation markers may not be exclusive to the target variants because of regional and temporal differences in variant dynamics. We introduce PRIMES, an algorithm that enables the design of reliable PCR assays for variant detection. Because PCR is more accessible, scalable, and robust for sewage samples than sequencing technology, our findings will contribute to improving global SARS-CoV-2 variant surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sewage
13.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1315-1329, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718396

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (nSARS-CoV-2) virus outbreaks emerged from Wuhan, China, and spread all over the world, including India. Molecular diagnosis of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID) 19 for densely and highly populated countries like India is time-consuming. A few reports have described the successful diagnosis of nSARS-CoV-2 virus from sewage and wastewater samples contaminated with fecal matter, suggesting the diagnosis of COVID 19 from the same to raise an alarm about the community transmission of virus for implementation of evacuation and lockdown strategies. So far, the association between the detection of virus and its concentration in stool samples with severity of the disease and the presence or absence of gastrointestinal symptoms have been rarely reported. We led the search utilizing multiple databases, specifically PubMed (Medline), EMBASE, and Google Scholar. We conducted a literature survey on gastrointestinal infection and the spread of this virus through fecal-oral transmission. Reports suggested that the existence and persistence of nSARS-CoV-2 in anal/rectal swabs and stool specimens for a longer period of time than in nasopharyngeal swabs provides a strong tenable outcome of gastrointestinal contamination and dissemination of this infection via potential fecal-oral transmission. This review may be helpful to conduct further studies to address the enteric involvement and excretion of nSARS-CoV-2 RNA in feces and control the community spread in both COVID-19 patients ahead of the onset of symptoms and in asymptomatic individuals through wastewater and sewage surveillance as an early indication of infection. The existence of the viral genome and active viral particle actively participate in genomic variations. Hence, we comprehended the enteric spread of different viruses amongst communities with special reference to nSARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Gastrointestinal Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Feces/virology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/prevention & control , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Humans , India/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sewage/virology , Water Purification
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715337

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is emerging as a potential approach to study the infection dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 at a community level. Periodic sewage surveillance can act as an indicative tool to predict the early surge of pandemic within the community and understand the dynamics of infection and, thereby, facilitates for proper healthcare management. In this study, we performed a long-term epidemiological surveillance to assess the SARS-CoV-2 spread in domestic sewage over one year (July 2020 to August 2021) by adopting longitudinal sampling to represent a selected community (~2.5 lakhs population). Results indicated temporal dynamics in the viral load. A consistent amount of viral load was observed during the months from July 2020 to November 2020, suggesting a higher spread of the viral infection among the community, followed by a decrease in the subsequent two months (December 2020 and January 2021). A marginal increase was observed during February 2021, hinting at the onset of the second wave (from March 2021) that reached it speak in April 2021. Dynamics of the community infection rates were calculated based on the viral gene copies to assess the severity of COVID-19 spread. With the ability to predict the infection spread, longitudinal WBE studies also offer the prospect of zoning specific areas based on the infection rates. Zoning of the selected community based on the infection rates assists health management to plan and manage the infection in an effective way. WBE promotes clinical inspection with simultaneous disease detection and management, in addition to an advance warning signal to anticipate outbreaks, with respect to the slated community/zones, to tackle, prepare for and manage the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Waste Water , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring
15.
Sci Total Environ ; 825: 153906, 2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699490

ABSTRACT

Although numerous studies have detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater and attempted to find correlations between the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and the number of cases, no consensus has been reached on sample collection and processing, and data analysis. Moreover, the fate of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater treatment plants is another issue, specifically regarding the discharge of the virus into environmental settings and the water cycle. The current study monitored SARS-CoV-2 RNA in influent and effluent wastewater samples with three different concentration methods and sludge samples over six months (July to December 2020) to compare different virus concentration methods, assess the fate of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater treatment plants, and describe the potential relationship between SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in influent and infection dynamics. Skimmed milk flocculation (SMF) resulted in 15.27 ± 3.32% recovery of an internal positive control, Armored RNA, and a high positivity rate of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in stored wastewater samples compared to ultrafiltration methods employing a prefiltration step to eliminate solids in fresh wastewater samples. Our results suggested that SARS-CoV-2 RNA may predominate in solids, and therefore, concentration methods focusing on both supernatant and solid fractions may result in better recovery. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in influent and primary sludge samples but not in secondary and final effluent samples, indicating a significant reduction during primary and secondary treatments. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was first detected in influent on September 30th, 2020. A decay-rate formula was applied to estimate initial concentrations of late-processed samples with SMF. A model based on shedding rate and new cases was applied to estimate SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations and the number of active shedders. Inferred sensitivity of observed and modeled concentrations to the fluctuations in new cases and test-positivity rates indicated a potential contribution of newly infected individuals to SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads in wastewater.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Water Purification , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sewage , Waste Water
16.
Sci Total Environ ; 824: 153886, 2022 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692894

ABSTRACT

Enteric viruses are of great importance in wastewater due to their high excretion from infected individuals, low removal in wastewater treatment processes, long-time survival in the environment, and low infectious dose. Among the other viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) surveillance in wastewater systems has received particular attention as a result of the current COVID-19 epidemic. Viruses adhering to solid particles in wastewater treatment processes will end up as sewage sludge, and therefore insufficient sludge treatment may result in viral particles dissemination into the environment. Here, we review data on viruses' presence in sewage sludge, their detection and concentration methods, and information on human health issues associated with sewage sludge land application. We used combinations of the following keywords in the Scopus, Web of Science (WOS), and PubMed databases, which were published between 2010 and January 21th, 2022: sludge (sewage sludge, biosolids, sewage solids, wastewater solids) and virus (enteric virus, viral particles, viral contamination, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus). The sources were searched twice, once with and then without the common enteric virus names (adenovirus, rotavirus, norovirus, enterovirus, hepatitis A virus). Studies suggest adenovirus and norovirus as the most prevalent enteric viruses in sewage sludge. Indeed, other viruses include rotavirus, hepatitis A virus, and enterovirus were frequently found in sewage sludge samples. Untreated biological sludge and thickened sludge showed more viral contamination level than digested sludge and the lowest prevalence of viruses was reported in lime stabilized sludge. The review reveals that land application of sewage sludge may pose viral infection risks to people due to accidently ingestion of sludge or intake of crops grown in biosolids amended soil. Moreover, contamination of groundwater and/or surface water may occur due to land application of sewage sludge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Enterovirus , Norovirus , Rotavirus , Viruses , Adenoviridae , Biosolids , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage , Waste Water
17.
J Environ Manage ; 309: 114728, 2022 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683294

ABSTRACT

Real-time evaluation of the fighting activities during a sudden unknown disaster like the COVID-19 pandemic is a critical challenge for control. This study demonstrates that the temporal variations of effluents from hospital sewage treatment facilities can be used as an effective indicator for such evaluation. Taking a typical infection-suffering city in China as an example, we found that there was an obvious decrease in effluent ammonia and COD concentrations in line with the start of city lockdown, and its temporal variations well indicated the major events happened during the pandemic control. Notably, the lagging period between the change point of effluent residual chlorine and the change points of COD and ammonia concentration coincided with a period in which there was a deficiency in local medical resources. In addition, the diurnal behavior of effluents from designated hospitals has varied significantly at different stages of the pandemic development. The effluent ammonia peaks shifted from daytime to nighttime after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting a high workload of the designated hospitals in fighting the rapidly emerging pandemic. This work well demonstrates the necessary for data integration at the wastewater-medical service nexus and highlights an unusual role of the effluents from hospital sewage treatment facilities in revealing the status of fighting the pandemic, which helps to control the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Sewage
18.
J Hazard Mater ; 425: 127901, 2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573490

ABSTRACT

The aim of this work was to evaluate the adsorption capacity and mechanism of two antiviral drugs AVDs (lopinavir (LOP) and ritonavir (RIT)) on three various sewage sludges (SSLs). The results showed that SSLs differed in the structure and chemical composition and LOP and RIT had a high affinity to the studied SSLs (Kd in ranges 2076-3449 L/kg). The adsorption capacities differed between SSLs and ranged 7.55-8.71 mg/g (RIT) and 8.10-8.64 mg/g (LOP). The Freundlich model provided a best fitting of adsorption isotherms of all AVDs-SSLs. The adsorption kinetics were best described by pseudo-second order kinetic model. The adsorption of LOP and RIT on SSLs was exothermic, spontaneous, and thermodynamically feasible. The sorption of LOP and RIT to SSLs was complex due to the diverse chemical composition of SSLs and the differences in the chemical structure of AVDs. Analysis of binary solution of both AVDs showed the competition effect between AVDs and a decrease in adsorption efficiency (3-17%) compared to single solutions. The amount of desorbed AVDs from all SSLs was low (less than 15%). The findings of the present work are significant in the prediction of fate and persistence of AVDs on SSLs in the context of their further transmission and possible environmental contamination.


Subject(s)
Sewage , Water Pollutants, Chemical , Adsorption , Antiviral Agents , Kinetics , Lopinavir , Ritonavir , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis
19.
Sci Total Environ ; 821: 153250, 2022 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631648

ABSTRACT

Sewage surveillance could help develop proactive response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but currently there are limited reports about examples in practical exercises. Here, we report a use case of intensified sewage surveillance to initiate public health action to thwart a looming Delta variant outbreak in Hong Kong. On 21 June 2021, albeit under basically contained COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, routine sewage surveillance identified a high viral load of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a sewage sample from one site covering over 33,000 population, suggesting infected cases living in the respective sewershed. The use of a newly developed method based on allele-specific real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (AS RT-qPCR) served to alert the first documentation of the Delta variant in local community sewage three days before the case was confirmed to be a Delta variant carrier. Intensified sewage surveillance was triggered. Targeted upstream sampling at sub-sewershed areas pinpointed the source of positive viral signal across spatial scales from sewershed to building level, and assisted in determining the specific area for issuing a compulsory testing order for individuals on 23 June 2021. A person who lived in a building with the positive result of sewage testing was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on 24 June 2021. Viral genome sequences determined from the sewage sample were compared to those from the clinic specimens of the matched patient, and confirmed that the person was the source of the positive SARS-CoV-2 signal in the sewage sample. This study could help build confidences for public health agencies in using the sewage surveillance in their own communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sewage
20.
Front Public Health ; 9: 561710, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630166

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an RNA virus, a member of the coronavirus family of respiratory viruses that includes severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). It has had an acute and dramatic impact on health care systems, economies, and societies of affected countries during the past 8 months. Widespread testing and tracing efforts are being employed in many countries in attempts to contain and mitigate this pandemic. Recent data has indicated that fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 is common and that the virus RNA can be detected in wastewater. This indicates that wastewater monitoring may provide a potentially efficient tool for the epidemiological surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 infection in large populations at relevant scales. In particular, this provides important means of (i) estimating the extent of outbreaks and their spatial distributions, based primarily on in-sewer measurements, (ii) managing the early-warning system quantitatively and efficiently, and (iii) verifying disease elimination. Here we report different virus concentration methods using polyethylene glycol (PEG), alum, or filtration techniques as well as different RNA extraction methodologies, providing important insights regarding the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in sewage. Virus RNA particles were detected in wastewater in several geographic locations in Israel. In addition, a correlation of virus RNA concentration to morbidity was detected in Bnei-Barak city during April 2020. This study presents a proof of concept for the use of direct raw sewage-associated virus data, during the pandemic in the country as a potential epidemiological tool.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sewage , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
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