Thursday, 27 May 2021

COVID-19 wastewater testing proves effective in new study


 

Wastewater testing is an effective way to identify new cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes and other congregate living settings, and it may be particularly useful for preventing outbreaks in college dormitories, a new University of Virginia study finds.

 

The research, a collaboration of UVA's School of Medicine and School of Engineering, was led by UVA Health's Amy Mathers, MD. It offers some of the first clear guidance on the most effective methods to perform testing to detect COVID-19 in wastewater.

 

The researchers evaluated and compared sampling and analysis techniques by testing them within buildings with known numbers of positive cases. They were then able to determine wastewater testing's strengths and limitations as a tool for monitoring COVID-19 in a building population. For example, the technique proved better at detecting initial infections than determining the number of occupants infected or how long they had been infected.

 

One important answer revealed by the research: Wastewater testing can detect even small numbers of asymptomatic cases, something not previously documented.

 

See:

 

Lisa M. Colosi, Katie E. Barry, Shireen M. Kotay, Michael D. Porter, Melinda D. Poulter, Cameron Ratliff, William Simmons, Limor I. Steinberg, D. Derek Wilson, Rena Morse, Paul Zmick, Amy J. Mathers. Development of wastewater pooled surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 from congregate living settings. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2021; DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00433-21

 

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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