Peer review artikel

Minimizing Errors in RT-PCR Detection and Quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA for Wastewater Surveillance


“Wastewater surveillance for pathogens using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is an effective, resource-efficient tool for gathering additional community-level public health information, including the incidence and/or prevalence and trends of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater may provide an early-warning signal of COVID-19 infections in a community. The capacity of the world’s environmental microbiology and virology laboratories for SARS-CoV-2 RNA characterization in wastewater is rapidly increasing. However, there are no standardized protocols nor harmonized quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures for SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance. This paper is a technical review of factors that can lead to false-positive and -negative errors in the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2, culminating in recommendations and strategies that can be implemented to identify and mitigate these errors. Recommendations include, stringent QA/QC measures, representative sampling approaches, effective virus concentration and efficient RNA extraction, amplification inhibition assessment, inclusion of sample processing controls, and considerations for RT-PCR assay selection and data interpretation. Clear data interpretation guidelines (e.g., determination of positive and negative samples) are critical, particularly during a low incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Corrective and confirmatory actions must be in place for inconclusive and/or potentially significant results (e.g., initial onset or reemergence of COVID-19 in a community). It will also be prudent to perform inter-laboratory comparisons to ensure results are reliable and interpretable for ongoing and retrospective analyses. The strategies that are recommended in this review aim to improve SARS-CoV-2 characterization for wastewater surveillance applications. A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the efficacy of wastewater surveillance was demonstrated during this global crisis. In the future, wastewater will play an important role in the surveillance of a range of other communicable diseases.”

(Citation: Ahmed, W., Simpson, S., Bertsch, P., et al. – Minimizing errors in RT-PCR detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA for Wastewater Surveillance – Preprints (2021) 2021040481 – DOI:10.20944/preprints202104.0481.v1 – (Open Access) – Preprint – This version is not peer-reviewed)

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License

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