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Evaluation of a Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Approach to Estimate the Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infections and the Detection of Viral Variants in Disparate Oregon Communities at City and Neighborhood ScalesFree, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
Impact of Sampling Type, Frequency, and Scale of the Collection System on SARS-CoV-2 Quantification FidelityFree, publicly-accessible full text available February 8, 2023
Standardizing data reporting in the research community to enhance the utility of open data for SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillancenull (Ed.)SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in wastewater is being rapidly developed and adopted as a public health monitoring tool worldwide. With wastewater surveillance programs being implemented across many different scales and by many different stakeholders, it is critical that data collected and shared are accompanied by an appropriate minimal amount of meta-information to enable meaningful interpretation and use of this new information source and intercomparison across datasets. While some databases are being developed for specific surveillance programs locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, common globally-adopted data standards have not yet been established within the research community. Establishing such standards will require national and international consensus on what meta-information should accompany SARS-CoV-2 wastewater measurements. To establish a recommendation on minimum information to accompany reporting of SARS-CoV-2 occurrence in wastewater for the research community, the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Coordination Network on Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 hosted a workshop in February 2021 with participants from academia, government agencies, private companies, wastewater utilities, public health laboratories, and research institutes. This report presents the primary two outcomes of the workshop: (i) a recommendation on the set of minimum meta-information that is needed to confidently interpret wastewater SARS-CoV-2 data, and (ii) insights from workshop discussionsmore »
Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 on College Campuses: Initial Efforts, Lessons Learned, and Research NeedsWastewater surveillance for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging approach to help identify the risk of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. This tool can contribute to public health surveillance at both community (wastewater treatment system) and institutional (e.g., colleges, prisons, and nursing homes) scales. This paper explores the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from initial wastewater surveillance efforts at colleges and university systems to inform future research, development and implementation. We present the experiences of 25 college and university systems in the United States that monitored campus wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 during the fall 2020 academic period. We describe the broad range of approaches, findings, resources, and impacts from these initial efforts. These institutions range in size, social and political geographies, and include both public and private institutions. Our analysis suggests that wastewater monitoring at colleges requires consideration of local information needs, sewage infrastructure, resources for sampling and analysis, college and community dynamics, approaches to interpretation and communication of results, and follow-up actions. Most colleges reported that a learning process of experimentation, evaluation, and adaptation was key to progress. This process requires ongoing collaboration among diverse stakeholders including decision-makers, researchers, faculty, facilities staff, students, and communitymore »
Reproducibility and sensitivity of 36 methods to quantify the SARS-CoV-2 genetic signal in raw wastewater: findings from an interlaboratory methods evaluation in the U.S.In response to COVID-19, the international water community rapidly developed methods to quantify the SARS-CoV-2 genetic signal in untreated wastewater. Wastewater surveillance using such methods has the potential to complement clinical testing in assessing community health. This interlaboratory assessment evaluated the reproducibility and sensitivity of 36 standard operating procedures (SOPs), divided into eight method groups based on sample concentration approach and whether solids were removed. Two raw wastewater samples were collected in August 2020, amended with a matrix spike (betacoronavirus OC43), and distributed to 32 laboratories across the U.S. Replicate samples analyzed in accordance with the project's quality assurance plan showed high reproducibility across the 36 SOPs: 80% of the recovery-corrected results fell within a band of ±1.15 log 10 genome copies per L with higher reproducibility observed within a single SOP (standard deviation of 0.13 log 10 ). The inclusion of a solids removal step and the selection of a concentration method did not show a clear, systematic impact on the recovery-corrected results. Other methodological variations ( e.g. , pasteurization, primer set selection, and use of RT-qPCR or RT-dPCR platforms) generally resulted in small differences compared to other sources of variability. These findings suggest that a variety of methods are capablemore »