KWR publication mentioned in WHO Scientific brief - Status of environmental surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 virus
“Environmental surveillance by testing of wastewater for evidence of pathogens has a long history of use in public health, particularly for poliovirus1 and more recently antimicrobial resistance (AMR).2 In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is being used for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 shed into wastewater from the upper gastrointestinal and upper respiratory system and via faeces.
Detection of non-infective RNA fragments of SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater and/or sludge has been reported in a number of settings, such as Milan, Italy;3 Murcia, Spain;4 Brisbane, Australia;5 multiple locations in the Netherlands;6 New Haven, Connecticut7 and eastern Massachusetts,8 United States of America; Paris, France;9 and existing poliovirus surveillance sites across Pakistan.10 Researchers in the Netherlands,6 France9 and United States of America7,8 demonstrated a correlation between wastewater SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations and COVID-19 clinical case reports; the latter two further suggesting that the RNA concentrations could provide a 4- to 7-day advanced notice ahead of COVID-19 confirmed case data. Efforts are also ongoing to analyse historical wastewater samples for evidence of past SARS-CoV-2 circulation.
Most of these detections have been in the context of research studies. However, at least one country, the Netherlands, plans to incorporate daily sewage surveillance into its national COVID-19 monitoring.11 A similar approach to using environmental surveillance as part of the routine COVID-19 surveillance package is being studied in Germany12 and has been initiated in Australia and New Zealand.13”
(Citation: KWR publication mentioned in WHO Scientific brief – Status of environmental surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 virus – WHO Scientific brief (2020)5 August)