Weekly surveillance of wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 gene detection for pandemic curve monitoring
The surveillance study was carried out in the Ahmedabad city of Gujarat state in India
This study was conducted as a weekly surveillance of wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 to gather evidence about the COVID-19 situation at the community level. The surveillance study was carried out in the Ahmedabad city of Gujarat state in India.
Given that up to 67 per cent of infected people showed SARS-CoV2 presence in faeces, alternative approaches such as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) surveillance has gained loads of recognition as a viable option that can provide early warning of the upcoming prevalence of the disease within a community. One of the advantages of WBE is that wastewater contains faeces from a huge number of people.
Therefore, it may require a far fewer number samples and less labour than clinical testing to know the presence of infected persons in the area. Overall, wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a promising approach to understand the status of the disease outbreak in a certain catchment by monitoring the viral load in the wastewater, as it contains the excretion from both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
WBE had been an effective tool during past outbreak of other enteric viruses, such as poliovirus, hepatitis A and norovirus, it can be used as an early warning tool for the disease outbreak in a community and used to inform the efficacy of the current public health interventions. WBE data can help to estimate actual infected population due to the virus, as it covers asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients too, which may be underestimated by clinical surveillance.
For this study, wastewater samples were collected from nine different locations, including eight wastewater pumping stations and a single sewage treatment plant. The samples were collected weekly for twenty-five weeks from each location during September 2020 to February 2021