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1.
Ann Intern Med ; 173(12): 1020-1021, 2020 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028682
2.
Nat Biotechnol ; 38(10): 1164-1167, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023956

ABSTRACT

We measured severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA concentrations in primary sewage sludge in the New Haven, Connecticut, USA, metropolitan area during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Spring 2020. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected throughout the more than 10-week study and, when adjusted for time lags, tracked the rise and fall of cases seen in SARS-CoV-2 clinical test results and local COVID-19 hospital admissions. Relative to these indicators, SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in sludge were 0-2 d ahead of SARS-CoV-2 positive test results by date of specimen collection, 0-2 d ahead of the percentage of positive tests by date of specimen collection, 1-4 d ahead of local hospital admissions and 6-8 d ahead of SARS-CoV-2 positive test results by reporting date. Our data show the utility of viral RNA monitoring in municipal wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 infection surveillance at a population-wide level. In communities facing a delay between specimen collection and the reporting of test results, immediate wastewater results can provide considerable advance notice of infection dynamics.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Waste Water/virology , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Biotechnology , Connecticut/epidemiology , Humans , Prevalence , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sewage/virology , Time Factors
3.
J Environ Manage ; 280: 111825, 2021 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023634

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe and affected millions of individuals as of the efficient virus transmission potential mediated via multiple virus shedding routes. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the stool samples and its prolonged shedding in environmental compartments like sewage and wastewater signifies a potential threat adding to the transmission cycle of this novel virus. The potential role played by the asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in transmitting the disease via the fecal-oral route is now under investigation. Hence, in the present scenario, wastewater-based epidemiology, and sewage surveillance may provide valuable insights into the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among the human population and could serve as a sensitive surveillance system and a crucial early warning tool. Further studies are required to determine the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in the environment, transmissibility through wastewater, and the potential to infect humans via the fecal-oral route. Appropriate frameworks with regards to evaluation and analysis of SARS-CoV-2 will help implement appropriate intervention strategies and necessary sanitation practices to ensure virus free clean water supply to have a check on the further spread of this pandemic virus.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Humans , Public Health , Sewage , Waste Water
4.
Sci Total Environ ; 759: 143493, 2021 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009853

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is successful in the detection of the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This review examines the methods used and results of recent studies on the quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. WBE becomes essential, especially with virus transmission path uncertainty, limitations on the number of clinical tests that could be conducted, and a relatively long period for infected people to show symptoms. Wastewater surveillance was used to show the effect of lockdown on the virus spread. A WBE framework tailored for SARS-CoV-2 that incorporates lessons learnt from the reviewed studies was developed. Results of the review helped outline challenges facing the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples. A comparison between the various studies with regards to sample concentration and virus quantification was conducted. Five different primers sets were used for qPCR quantification; however, due to limited data availability, there is no consensus on the most sensitive primer. Correlating the slope of the relationship between the number of gene copies vs. the cumulative number of infections normalized to the total population served with the average new cases, suggests that qPCR results could help estimating the number of new infections. The correlation is improved when a lag period was introduced to account for asymptomatic infections. Based on lessons learnt from recent studies, it is recommended that future applications should consider the following: 1) ensuring occupational safety in managing sewage collection and processing, 2) evaluating the effectiveness of greywater disinfection, 3) measuring viral RNA decay due to biological and chemical activities during collection and treatment, 4) assessing the effectiveness of digital PCR, and 5) conducting large scale international studies that follow standardized protocols.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Sewage , Waste Water
5.
Chemosphere ; 263: 127973, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002388

ABSTRACT

In recent months, the presence of an emerging disease of infectious etiology has paralyzed everyone, already being a public health problem due to its high rate of infection, a life-threatening disease. The WHO has named it COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV2). New studies provide information of the role of the environment in COVID-19 transmission process, mortality related to this infectious disease and the impact on human health. The following review aims to analyze information on the implications of COVID-19 infection on human health and the impact of its presence on the environment, from its transmission capacity and the role of air pollutants and climatological factors to reducing the air pollution during confinement. Likewise, it provides a vision of the impact on the environment and human health of exposure to disinfectants and the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater, among other actions.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Environment , Air Pollution/analysis , Humans , Pandemics , Waste Water/virology
6.
Euro Surveill ; 25(50)2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-993169

ABSTRACT

IntroductionSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). People infected with SARS-CoV-2 may exhibit no or mild non-specific symptoms; thus, they may contribute to silent circulation of the virus among humans. Since SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in stool samples, monitoring SARS-CoV-2 RNA in waste water (WW) has been proposed as a complementary tool to investigate virus circulation in human populations.AimTo test if the quantification of SARS-CoV-2 genomes in WW correlates with the number of symptomatic or non-symptomatic carriers.MethodWe performed a time-course quantitative analysis of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR in raw WW samples collected from several major WW treatment plants in Greater Paris. The study period was 5 March to 23 April 2020, including the lockdown period in France (from 17 March).ResultsWe showed that the increase of genome units in raw WW accurately followed the increase of human COVID-19 cases observed at the regional level. Of note, the viral genome could be detected before the epidemic grew massively (around 8 March). Equally importantly, a marked decrease in the quantities of genome units was observed concomitantly with the reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases, 29 days following the lockdown.ConclusionThis work suggests that a quantitative monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 genomes in WW could generate important additional information for improved monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 circulation at local or regional levels and emphasises the role of WW-based epidemiology.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Genome, Viral , Quarantine , RNA, Viral/analysis , Virus Shedding , Waste Water/virology , /transmission , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , France , Humans , Paris/epidemiology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Viral Load
7.
Water Sci Technol ; 82(12): 2813-2822, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992977

ABSTRACT

The effect of the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in France between March 14 and May 11, 2020 on the wastewater characteristics of two large urban areas (with between 250,000 and 300,000 inhabitants) was studied. The number of outward and inward daily commuters was extracted from national census databases related to the population and their commuting habits. For urban area A, with the larger number of daily inward commuters (110,000, compared to 53,000 for B), lockdown was observed to have an effect on the monthly load averages of chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total suspended solids and total phosphorus, all of which decreased (confidence level of 95%). This decrease, which varied between 20% and 40% and reached 45% for COD, can be related to the cessation of catering and activities such as hairdressing, which generate large amounts of graywater. The ammonium loads, due to the use of toilets before leaving for work and after returning from work, remained constant. In the case of urban area B, lockdown had no noticeable effect. More data would be necessary in the long term to analyze the effect of changes in the balance between ammonia and carbon sources on the operation of wastewater treatment plants.


Subject(s)
Waste Water , Biological Oxygen Demand Analysis , France , Humans , Nitrogen/analysis , Phosphorus , Waste Disposal, Fluid
8.
Front Public Health ; 8: 569209, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983740

ABSTRACT

Only 4 months after the beginning of SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, the world is facing a global pandemic due to a complex and insidious virus that today constantly poses new challenges. In this study, we highlight a persistent shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA into the urine, even in patients with a negative nasopharyngeal swab and in patients considered recovered. What does it mean? Besides the fact that the kidney is a probable site of viral replication, the prolonged viral excretion is a matter of great concern for our drainage system contamination.


Subject(s)
/transmission , Urine/virology , Virus Shedding , Waste Water/virology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Risk Factors
9.
Viruses ; 12(10)2020 10 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-983003

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, is frequently shed in faeces during infection, and viral RNA has recently been detected in sewage in some countries. We have investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater samples from South-East England between 14th January and 12th May 2020. A novel nested RT-PCR approach targeting five different regions of the viral genome improved the sensitivity of RT-qPCR assays and generated nucleotide sequences at sites with known sequence polymorphisms among SARS-CoV-2 isolates. We were able to detect co-circulating virus variants, some specifically prevalent in England, and to identify changes in viral RNA sequences with time consistent with the recently reported increasing global dominance of Spike protein G614 pandemic variant. Low levels of viral RNA were detected in a sample from 11th February, 3 days before the first case was reported in the sewage plant catchment area. SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration increased in March and April, and a sharp reduction was observed in May, showing the effects of lockdown measures. We conclude that viral RNA sequences found in sewage closely resemble those from clinical samples and that environmental surveillance can be used to monitor SARS-CoV-2 transmission, tracing virus variants and detecting virus importations.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Sewage/virology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , England/epidemiology , Environmental Monitoring , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Waste Water/virology
10.
Sci Total Environ ; 758: 143870, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-968693

ABSTRACT

Wastewater based epidemiology (WBE) has emerged as a reliable strategy to assess the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Recent publications suggest that SARS-CoV-2 detection in wastewater is technically feasible; however, many different protocols are available and most of the methods applied have not been properly validated. To this end, different procedures to concentrate and extract inactivated SARS-CoV-2 and surrogates were initially evaluated. Urban wastewater seeded with gamma-irradiated SARS-CoV-2, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), and mengovirus (MgV) was used to test the concentration efficiency of an aluminum-based adsorption-precipitation method and a polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation protocol. Moreover, two different RNA extraction methods were compared in this study: a commercial manual spin column centrifugation kit and an automated protocol based on magnetic silica beads. Overall, the evaluated concentration methods did not impact the recovery of gamma-irradiated SARS-CoV-2 nor MgV, while extraction methods showed significant differences for PEDV. Mean recovery rates of 42.9 ± 9.5%, 27.5 ± 14.3% and 9.0 ± 2.2% were obtained for gamma-irradiated SARS-CoV-2, PEDV and MgV, respectively. Limits of detection (LoD95%) for five genomic SARS-CoV-2 targets (N1, N2, gene E, IP2 and IP4) ranged from 1.56 log genome equivalents (ge)/mL (N1) to 2.22 log ge/mL (IP4) when automated system was used; while values ranging between 2.08 (N1) and 2.34 (E) log ge/mL were observed when using column-based extraction method. Different targets were also evaluated in naturally contaminated wastewater samples with 91.2%, 85.3%, 70.6%, 79.4% and 73.5% positivity, for N1, N2, E, IP2 and IP4, respectively. Our benchmarked comparison study suggests that the aluminum precipitation method coupled with the automated nucleic extraction represents a method of acceptable sensitivity to provide readily results of interest for SARS-CoV-2 WBE surveillance.


Subject(s)
Animals , Humans , Pandemics , RNA , Swine , Waste Water
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(24)2020 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965102

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Disease clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic to severe multiple organ damage. SARS-CoV-2 uses ACE2 as a cellular receptor, which is abundantly expressed in the small intestine, allowing viral replication in the gastrointestinal tract. Viral RNA has been detected in the stool of COVID-19 patients and viable viruses had been isolated in some of these samples. Thus, a putative role of SARS-CoV-2 fecal-oral transmission has been argued. SARS-CoV-2 is shed in human excreta and further disposed in the sewerage or in the environment, in poor basic sanitation settings. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a valuable population level approach for monitoring viral pathogens and has been successfully used in different contexts. This review summarizes the current global experience on SARS-CoV-2 WBE in distinct continents and viral detection in polluted surface water. The advantages and concerns of this strategy for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance are discussed. Outcomes suggest that WBE is a valuable early warning alert and a helpful complementary surveillance tool to subside public health response, to tailor containment and mitigation measures and to determine target populations for testing. In poor sanitation settings, contaminated rivers could be alternatively used as a source for environmental surveillance.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Pandemics , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Sanitation , Waste Water/virology
12.
Environ Sci Technol ; 55(1): 488-498, 2021 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962234

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology may be useful for informing public health response to viral diseases like COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2. We quantified SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater influent and primary settled solids in two wastewater treatment plants to inform the preanalytical and analytical approaches and to assess whether influent or solids harbored more viral targets. The primary settled solids samples resulted in higher SARS-CoV-2 detection frequencies than the corresponding influent samples. Likewise, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was more readily detected in solids using one-step digital droplet (dd)RT-PCR than with two-step RT-QPCR and two-step ddRT-PCR, likely owing to reduced inhibition with the one-step ddRT-PCR assay. We subsequently analyzed a longitudinal time series of 89 settled solids samples from a single plant for SARS-CoV-2 RNA as well as coronavirus recovery (bovine coronavirus) and fecal strength (pepper mild mottle virus) controls. SARS-CoV-2 RNA targets N1 and N2 concentrations correlated positively and significantly with COVID-19 clinically confirmed case counts in the sewershed. Together, the results demonstrate that measuring SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in settled solids may be a more sensitive approach than measuring SARS-CoV-2 in influent.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Animals , Cattle , Coronaviridae , Humans , RNA , RNA, Viral/genetics , Waste Water
13.
Sci Total Environ ; 756: 144105, 2021 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947446

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a useful tool that has the potential to act as a complementary approach to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the community and as an early alarm system for COVID-19 outbreak. Many studies reported low concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and also revealed the need for methodological validation for enveloped viruses concentration in wastewater. The aim of this study was to evaluate different methodologies for the concentration of viruses in wastewaters and to select and improve an option that maximizes the recovery of SARS-CoV-2. A total of 11 concentration techniques based on different principles were evaluated: adsorption-elution protocols with negatively charged membranes followed by polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation (Methods 1-2), PEG precipitation (Methods 3-7), aluminum polychloride (PAC) flocculation (Method 8), ultrafiltration (Method 9), skim milk flocculation (Method 10) and adsorption-elution with negatively charged membrane followed by ultrafiltration (Method 11). To evaluate the performance of these concentration techniques, feline calicivirus (FCV) was used as a process control in order to avoid the risk associated with handling SARS-CoV-2. Two protocols, one based on PEG precipitation and the other on PAC flocculation, showed high efficiency for FCV recovery from wastewater (62.2% and 45.0%, respectively). These two methods were then tested for the specific recovery of SARS-CoV-2. Both techniques could recover SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater, PAC flocculation showed a lower limit of detection (4.3 × 102 GC/mL) than PEG precipitation (4.3 × 103 GC/mL). This work provides a critical overview of current methods used for virus concentration in wastewaters and the analysis of sensitivity for the specific recovery of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage. The data obtained here highlights the viability of WBE for the surveillance of COVID-19 infections in the community.


Subject(s)
Viruses , Humans , Sewage , Waste Water
14.
Sci Total Environ ; 757: 144006, 2021 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939259

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has developed into a serious pandemic with millions of cases diagnosed worldwide. To fight COVID-19 pandemic, over 100 countries instituted either a full or partial lockdown, affecting billions of people. In Tyrol, first lockdown measures were taken on 10 March 2020. On 16 March 2020, a curfew went into force which ended on 1 May 2020. On 19 March 2020, Tyrol as a whole was placed in quarantine which ended on 7 April 2020. The governmental actions helped reducing the spread of COVID-19 at the cost of significant effects on social life and behaviour. Accordingly, to provide a comprehensive picture of the population health status not only input from medical and biological sciences is required, but also from other sciences able to provide lifestyle information such as drug use. Herein, wastewater-based epidemiology was used for studying temporal trends of licit and illicit drug consumption during lockdown and quarantine in the area of the Tyrolean capital Innsbruck (174,000 inhabitants). On 35 days between 12 March 2020 and 15 April 2020, loads of 23 markers were monitored in wastewater. Loads determined on 292 days between March 2016 and January 2020 served as reference. During lockdown, changes in the consumption patterns of recreational drugs (i.e. cocaine, amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, methamphetamine, and alcohol) and pharmaceuticals for short-term application (i.e. acetaminophen, codeine, and trimethoprim) were detected. For illicit drugs and alcohol, it is very likely that observed changes were linked to the shutdown of the hospitality industry and event cancelation which led to a reduced demand of these compounds particularly on weekends. For the pharmaceuticals, further work will be necessary to clarify if the observed declines are indicators of improved population health or of some kind of restraining effect that reduced the number of consultations of medical doctors and pharmacies.


Subject(s)
Waste Water , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Waste Water/analysis
15.
Sci Total Environ ; 757: 143722, 2021 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922134

ABSTRACT

Antidepressants are drugs with a direct action on the brain's biochemistry through their interaction with the neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The increasing worldwide contamination from these drugs may be witnessed through their increasing presence in the urban water cycle. Furthermore, their occurrence has been detected in non-urban water, such as rivers and oceans. Some endemic aquatic animals, such as certain fish and mollusks, have bioaccumulated different antidepressant drugs in their tissues. This problem will increase in the years to come because the present COVID-19 pandemic has increased the general worldwide occurrence of depression and anxiety, triggering the consumption of antidepressants and, consequently, their presence in the environment. This work provides information on the occurrence of the most administrated antidepressants in urban waters, wastewater treatment plants, rivers, and oceans. Furthermore, it provides an overview of the analytical approaches currently used to detect each antidepressant presented. Finally, the ecotoxicological effect of antidepressants on several in vivo models are listed. Considering the information provided in this review, there is an urgent need to test the presence of antidepressant members of the MAOI and TCA groups. Furthermore, incorporating new degradation/immobilization technologies in WWTPs will be useful to stop the increasing occurrence of these drugs in the environment.


Subject(s)
Water Pollutants, Chemical , Antidepressive Agents , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Pandemics , Rivers , Waste Water/analysis , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis
16.
Water Res ; 189: 116620, 2021 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917441

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 was discovered among humans in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and then spread rapidly, causing a global pandemic. The virus was found to be transmitted mainly by respiratory droplets from infected persons or by direct contact. It was also shown to be excreted in feces, why we investigated whether the virus could be detected in wastewater and if so, to which extent its levels reflects its spread in society. Samples of wastewater from the city of Gothenburg, and surrounding municipalities in Sweden were collected daily from mid-February until June 2020 at the Rya wastewater treatment plant. Flow proportional samples of wastewater were collected to ensure that comparable amounts were obtained for analysis. Daily samples were pooled into weekly samples. Virus was concentrated on a filter and analyzed by RT-qPCR. The amount of SARS-CoV-2 varied with peaks approximately every four week, preceding variations in number of newly hospitalized patients by 19-21 days. At that time virus testing for COVID-19 was limited to patients with severe symptoms. Local differences in viral spread was shown by analyzing weekly composite samples of wastewater from five sampling sites for four weeks. The highest amount of virus was found from the central, eastern, and northern parts of the city. SARS-CoV-2 was also found in the treated effluent wastewater from the WWTP discharged into the recipient, the Göta River, although with a reduction of 4-log10. The viral peaks with regular temporal intervals indicated that SARS-CoV-2 may have a cluster spread, probably reflecting that the majority of infected persons only spread the disease during a few days. Our results are important for both the planning of hospital care and to rapidly identify and intervene against local spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
Feces , Waste Water , Cities , Feces/virology , Humans , Inpatients , Sweden
17.
Sci Total Environ ; 758: 143578, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917425

ABSTRACT

The presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in wastewater samples has been documented in several countries. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is potentially effective for early warning of a COVID-19 outbreak. In this study, presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater samples was investigated and was compared with the number of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the study area during COVID-19 outbreak in Japan. In total, 45 influent wastewater samples were collected from five wastewater treatment plants in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures in Japan. During the study period, the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in these prefectures increased from 0.3 and 0 to >20 per 100,000 people. SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the samples was detected using several PCR-based assays. Of the 45 samples, 21 were positive for SARS-CoV-2 according to at least one of the three quantitative RT-PCR assays. The detection frequency increased when the number of total confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases in 100,000 people exceeded 10 in each prefecture; however, SARS-CoV-2 could also be detected at a low frequency even when the number was below 1.0. SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater could be detected in the early stage of the epidemic, even if the number of confirmed cases potentially underestimates the actual numbers of cases. This suggests that WBE approach can potentially act as an early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks in Japan.


Subject(s)
Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Waste Water
18.
Water Res ; 188: 116560, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-899651

ABSTRACT

In the absence of an effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19 it is important to be able to track community infections to inform public health interventions aimed at reducing the spread and therefore reduce pressures on health-care, improve health outcomes and reduce economic uncertainty. Wastewater surveillance has rapidly emerged as a potential tool to effectively monitor community infections through measuring trends of RNA signal in wastewater systems. In this study SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA N1 and N2 gene regions are quantified in solids collected from influent post grit solids (PGS) and primary clarified sludge (PCS) in two water resource recovery facilities (WRRF) serving Canada's national capital region, i.e., the City of Ottawa, ON (pop. ≈ 1.1M) and the City of Gatineau, QC (pop. ≈ 280K). PCS samples show signal inhibition using RT-ddPCR compared to RT-qPCR, with PGS samples showing similar quantifiable concentrations of RNA using both assays. RT-qPCR shows higher frequency of detection of N1 and N2 gene regions in PCS (92.7, 90.6%, n = 6) as compared to PGS samples (79.2, 82.3%, n = 5). Sampling of PCS may therefore be an effective approach for SARS-CoV-2 viral quantification, especially during periods of declining and low COVID-19 incidence in the community. The pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) is determined to have a less variable RNA signal in PCS over a three month period for two WRRFs, regardless of environmental conditions, compared to Bacteroides 16S rRNA or human 18S rRNA, making PMMoV a potentially useful biomarker for normalization of SARS-CoV-2 signal. PMMoV-normalized PCS RNA signal from WRRFs of two cities correlated with the regional public health epidemiological metrics, identifying PCS normalized to a fecal indicator (PMMoV) as a potentially effective tool for monitoring trends during decreasing and low-incidence of infection of SARS-Cov-2 in communities.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pneumonia, Viral , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prevalence , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S , Residence Characteristics , Waste Water
19.
Sci Total Environ ; 755(Pt 2): 143226, 2021 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894207

ABSTRACT

Previous studies on SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV reported the detection of viral RNA in the stool of both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. These clinical observations suggest that municipal and hospital wastewater from affected communities may contain SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Recent studies have also reported the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in human feces. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a promising approach to understand the prevalence of viruses in a given catchment population, as wastewater contains viruses from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The current study reports the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in untreated wastewater in Slovenia. Two sizes of centrifugal filters were tested: 30 kDa and 10 kDA AMICON® Ultra-15 Centrifugal Filters, where 10 kDA resulted in a higher concentration factor and higher recovery efficiency. The results in hospital wastewater show that WBE can be used for monitoring COVID -19 and could be applied in municipal wastewater treatment plants as a potential complementary tool for public health monitoring at population level.


Subject(s)
Hospitals , Humans , Prevalence , RNA , Slovenia , Waste Water
20.
Environ Sci Process Impacts ; 22(11): 2147-2161, 2020 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889219

ABSTRACT

Wastewater entering sewer networks represents a unique source of pooled epidemiological information. In this study, we coupled online solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry to achieve high-throughput analysis of health and lifestyle-related substances in untreated municipal wastewater during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Twenty-six substances were identified and quantified in influent samples collected from six wastewater treatment plants during the COVID-19 pandemic in central New York. Over a 12 week sampling period, the mean summed consumption rate of six major substance groups (i.e., antidepressants, antiepileptics, antihistamines, antihypertensives, synthetic opioids, and central nervous system stimulants) correlated with disparities in household income, marital status, and age of the contributing populations as well as the detection frequency of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in wastewater and the COVID-19 test positivity in the studied sewersheds. Nontarget screening revealed the covariation of piperine, a nontarget substance, with SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater collected from one of the sewersheds. Overall, this proof-of-the-concept study demonstrated the utility of high-throughput wastewater analysis for assessing the population-level substance use patterns during a public health crisis such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , Humans , New York , Waste Water
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