Several forms of SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in wastewaters: Implication for wastewater-based epidemiology and risk assessment (Équipe Sabbah)

May 08 - 2021

S. Wurtzer, P. Waldman, A. Ferrier-Rembert, G. Frenois-Veyrat, J M. Mouchel, M. Boni, Y. Maday, V. Marechal, L. Moulin

Water Res 198 (2021): 117183

The ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been a public health emergency of international concern. Although SARS-CoV-2 is considered to be mainly transmitted by inhalation of contaminated droplets and aerosols, SARS-CoV-2 is also detected in human feces and to a less extent in urine, and in raw wastewaters (to date viral RNA only) suggesting that other routes of infection may exist. Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 genomes in wastewaters has been proposed as a complementary approach for tracing the dynamics of virus transmission within human population connected to wastewater network. The understanding on SARS-CoV-2 transmission through wastewater surveillance, the development of epidemic modeling and the evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from contaminated wastewater are largely limited by our knowledge on viral RNA genome persistence and virus infectivity preservation in such an environment. Using an integrity based RT-qPCR assay this study led to the discovery that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can persist under several forms in wastewaters, which provides important information on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in raw wastewaters and associated risk assessment.

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