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Journal Articles Environmental Chemistry Letters Year : 2021

COVID-19 epidemiologic surveillance using wastewater

Abstract

Studies have shown that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can appear in feces within three days of infection, which is much sooner than the time taken for people to develop symptoms and get an official diagnosis (Mallapaty 2020). Therefore, earlier identification in wastewater of the virus’s arrival in a community might limit the health and economic damage caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Despite centuries of technological advances, the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the limitations of our ability to control viral spread and infections worldwide. This knowledge gap has induced highly variable and sometimes contradictory government decisions in many countries, such as whether to wear a mask or not, and various strategies for testing, contact tracing and isolation of infected patients. The failure of control strategies has led many countries to lockdowns. In particular, powerful and rapid analytical techniques are actually still missing because virus detection is a key step in controlling viral transmission. The biomarker approach, which was initially developed in geochemistry to measure the maturity of dead organic matter and to link molecular fossils with biological homologs, has been applied to modern samples such as soils, sediments, wastewaters and plants (Albrecht and Ourisson 1971; Lichtfouse et al. 1994 1997; Bryselbout et al. 1998; Payet et al. 1999; Dsikowitzky and Schwarzbauer 2014; Choi et al. 2020). Here, we discuss the emergence of wastewater epidemiology based on ribonucleic acid (RNA) biomarkers, a discipline linking biomedical and environmental sciences for the detection of pathogens, with focus on analytical challenges.
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Dates and versions

hal-03125589 , version 1 (29-01-2021)

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Virender Sharma, Chetan Jinadatha, Eric Lichtfouse, Etienne Decroly, Jacques van Helden, et al.. COVID-19 epidemiologic surveillance using wastewater. Environmental Chemistry Letters, 2021, 19, pp.1911-1915. ⟨10.1007/s10311-021-01188-w⟩. ⟨hal-03125589⟩
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