COVID-19 monitoring with sparse sampling of sewered and non-sewered wastewater in urban and rural communities

Wannigama, Dhammika Leshan; Amarasiri, Mohan; Hongsing, Parichart; Hurst, Cameron; Modchang, Charin; Chadsuthi, Sudarat; Anupong, Suparinthon; Phattharapornjaroen, Phatthranit; Rad S.M., Ali Hosseini; Fernandez, Stefan; Huang, Angkana T.; Vatanaprasan, Porames; Jay, Dylan John; Saethang, Thammakorn; Luk-in, Sirirat; Storer, Robin James; Ounjai, Puey; Devanga Ragupathi, Naveen Kumar; Kanthawee, Phitsanuruk; Sano, Daisuke; Furukawa, Takashi; Sei, Kazunari; Leelahavanichkul, Asada; Kanjanabuch, Talerngsak; Hirankarn, Nattiya; Higgins, Paul G.; Kicic, Anthony; Singer, Andrew C. ORCID:; Chatsuwan, Tanittha; Trowsdale, Sam; Abe, Shuichi; McLellan, Alexander D.; Ishikawa, Hitoshi. 2023 COVID-19 monitoring with sparse sampling of sewered and non-sewered wastewater in urban and rural communities. iScience, 26 (7), 107019. 21, pp.

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Equitable SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in low-resource communities lacking centralized sewers is critical as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) progresses. However, large-scale studies on SARS-CoV-2 detection in wastewater from low-and middle-income countries is limited because of economic and technical reasons. In this study, wastewater samples were collected twice a month from 186 urban and rural subdistricts in nine provinces of Thailand mostly having decentralized and non-sewered sanitation infrastructure and analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA variants using allele-specific RT-qPCR. Wastewater SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration was used to estimate the real-time incidence and time-varying effective reproduction number (Re). Results showed an increase in SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in wastewater from urban and rural areas 14–20 days earlier than infected individuals were officially reported. It also showed that community/food markets were “hot spots” for infected people. This approach offers an opportunity for early detection of transmission surges, allowing preparedness and potentially mitigating significant outbreaks at both spatial and temporal scales.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2589-0042
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: environmental monitoring, virology, applied microbiology, molecular microbiology
NORA Subject Terms: Health
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Date made live: 31 Oct 2023 14:57 +0 (UTC)

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