Wastewater Monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 with Early WarningTM COVID 19 Test Provides Insights on Community Prevalence

SARS CoV-2 Wastewater Testing - State of the Science
Poster Presentation

Presented by E. Shuman
Prepared by R. Tait Jr.1, E. Shuman2, S. Hinkley2, D. Hirschberg3, V. Sriskantharajah4, C. Lawley5
1 - Neogen Genomics, 4131 North 48th Street, Lincoln, NE, 68504, United States
2 - Neogen Genomics, , Lincoln, Nebraska,
3 - RAIN Incubator, 2304 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, Washington, 98402,
4 - RAIN Incubator, , Tacoma, Washington,
5 - RAIN Incubator & Neogen Genomics, , , United States

Contact Information: rtait@neogen.com; 402-435-0665


Wastewater monitoring for tracking of community health status of the SARS-CoV-2 virus enables understanding and mitigation of community transmission for municipalities, academic institutions, or industrial campuses.  Rather than pooling large wastewater volumes and concentrating, all while mitigating RNA degradation, we have validated sampling of composite effluent (from Wastewater Treatment Plants) or recently accumulated solids through remote sub-sampling followed by immediate submersion in an inactivation transport and storage buffer as an effective process for collecting and preserving ambient samples as part of a monitoring plan. We evaluate SARS-CoV-2 using CDC recommended methods.  When working directly with municipalities, we use viral load relative to positive and negative controls to report presence or absence for SARS-CoV-2 and relative change where longitudinal sampling is warranted.  We will discuss our data as an early warning metric in the context of community infections which provides time to identify sources of the viral spread and deploy diagnostic testing resources to mitigate further community transmission.   As the usage of wastewater monitoring for infectious disease becomes more routine, further opportunities for proactive actions and interventions on a community basis are likely to be identified.  We suggest our approach as a scalable, cost effective addition to the overall strategic COVID-19 community response to support wide-scale and regular testing of the American population for COVID-19 using wastewater surveillance to help guide reopening, monitor local re-emergence events, and enable rapid containment.