Wastewater surveillance reveals COVID-19 transmission patterns in unsheltered encampments

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To amended understand COVID-19's dispersed during nan pandemic, nationalist wellness officials expanded wastewater surveillance. These efforts way SARS-CoV-2 levels and wellness risks among astir people, but they miss group who unrecorded without shelter, a organization peculiarly susceptible to terrible infection. To capable this accusation gap, researchers reporting successful ACS' Environmental Science & Technology Letters tested flood-control waterways adjacent unsheltered encampments, uncovering akin transmission patterns arsenic successful nan broader organization and identifying antecedently unseen viral mutations.

In caller years, testing untreated wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 incidence and ascendant viral variants, arsenic good arsenic different pathogens, has been captious to helping nationalist wellness officials find infectious illness transmission successful section communities. Yet, this monitoring only captures accusation connected viruses shed from quality feces and urine successful buildings that are connected to section sewage infrastructure. Beyond nan pandemic's effect connected quality health, it besides exacerbated socioeconomic difficulties and accrued nan number of group experiencing homelessness and surviving successful open-air encampments without entree to indoor bathrooms. To understand nan prevalence of COVID-19 among group who unrecorded unsheltered, Edwin Oh and colleagues tested for SARS-CoV-2 successful waterways adjacent encampments extracurricular Las Vegas from December 2021 done July 2022.

Using quantitative polymerase concatenation reaction, nan researchers identified SARS-CoV-2 RNA successful much than 25% of nan samples tested from 2 flood-control channels. The highest discovery wave complete nan study play aligned pinch Las Vegas' first activity of omicron version infections, arsenic confirmed done parallel testing astatine a section wastewater curen plant. The researchers opportunity these results propose a akin level of transmission was occurring wrong nan unsheltered organization arsenic it was among nan wide population. Then nan researchers conducted full genome sequencing to place nan SARS-CoV-2 variants successful nan waterways. These samples mostly contained nan aforesaid variants identified successful nan broader community. Deeper computational study of nan viral sequences identified 3 caller viral spike macromolecule mutations successful immoderate waterway samples, but nan researchers person not yet examined what effect these mutations mightiness person connected viral usability aliases objective outcomes. Regardless, nan expertise to observe and place SARS-CoV-2 successful biology h2o samples could thief amended nationalist wellness measures for a organization that is often underrepresented successful existent surveillance methods. The researchers besides opportunity monitoring waterways could pass wellness officials of unexpected variants circulating successful nan community.


Journal reference:

Harrington, A., et al. (2024) Environmental Surveillance of Flood Control Infrastructure Impacted by Unsheltered Individuals Leads to nan Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and Novel Mutations successful nan Spike Gene. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.3c00938.

Posted in: Disease/Infection News | Healthcare News

Tags: covid-19, Education, Frequency, Gene, Genome, Omicron, Pandemic, Polymerase, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Protein, Public Health, Research, RNA, SARS, SARS-CoV-2, Spike Protein, Technology, Whole Genome Sequencing