Rapport i.s.m. derden - JRC125065

SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance employing Sewage Towards a Sentinel System


“The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater is a possible way to better understand its approximate overall presence in the population, if combined with the monitoring of suitable tracers such as cross-assembly phage, pepper mild mottle virus or chemicals tracers related to human activities (e.g. pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of COVID-19). This report describes a fast track collaborative effort with stakeholders from academia, the Water and Public Health Sectors. The assessment reveals insights into methodologies and entailed costs for a European Sewage Sentinel System for SARS-CoV-2. Data from two experimental assessments link national, regional and local surveillance programs. It shares the findings of accompanying knowledge brokering and transfer events organized to have a rolling exchange of information and review of advances, such coping with the speed challenge of the rapid dynamics of this pandemic. Data from wastewater testing cannot replace existing COVID-19 surveillance systems, but complement them by providing: • An efficient pooled community sample, since the virus is shed in the faeces of individuals with symptomatic or asymptomatic infection • information on changes in total COVID-19 infection in the community connected to a sewer shed • Data for communities where timely COVID-19 clinical testing is underutilized or unavailable. • An early warning for (re)-emergence in Europe and beyond. Sewage testing has been successfully used as a method for early detection of other diseases, such as polio. Indeed, with the right frequency of testing, the tool can become a leading indicator of changes in COVID-19 burden in a community. • a COVID-19 indicator that is independent of healthcare-seeking behaviours and access to clinical testing.”

(Citation: Gawlik, B., Tavazzi, S., Mariani, G., Skejo, H., Sponar, M., Higgins, T., Medema, G. and Wintgens, T. – SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance employing Sewage – Towards a Sentinel System – EUR 30684 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2021, ISBN 978-92-76-36887-8 – doi:10.2760/909651, JRC125065 (2021))

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