Wastewater testing for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) can be helpful to public health agencies and government officials as a novel complement to existing COVID-19 surveillance systems. Monitoring wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 is used for early detection of COVID-19 spread within a community, and testing the amount of the virus in sewage water and continuous trend monitoring can serve as an early warning of COVID-19 infections.
The detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in wastewater has rapidly become a significant tool to address the ongoing pandemic. Wastewater detection of SARS-CoV-2 is particularly useful where significant numbers of asymptomatic infections occur, and the fluctuation of virus levels in sewage water can help communities see how well preventive measures are working. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) programs can be an invaluable additional predictive tool for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Multiple testing methods and laboratory workflows are used to quantify SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. A balanced nutrient ratio is essential if the microorganisms are to function at maximum efficiency. The most important of these nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus. It helps to know how many people are contributing to the wastewater so that detected amounts of RNA can be compared or ”“normalized” to fecal load. Several options exist that may allow estimation of relative human fecal load including biomarkers such as ammoniacal nitrogen, urea and creatinine. Analysis of chemical and physiochemical reference parameters such as pH and conductivity, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, total organic nitrogen, ortho-phosphate, and other ions such as chloride and sulfate are important. Total nitrogen, phosphorus, biological oxygen demand, ammonium and urea have also been proposed as population biomarkers.
Wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2is a rapidly evolving area that holds great promise as an early, cost-effective, unbiased community-level indicator of the presence of COVID-19. However, determining the chemical reference parameters such as pH, conductivity, and population biomarkers for a large number of samples on a daily basis is extremely challenging, and until now, impractical. The Thermo Scientific™ Gallery™ Plus discrete analyzer overcomes these challenges.
The Gallery and Gallery Plus discrete analyzers are easy-to-use, automated systems that allow laboratories to simplify sewage water and wastewater surveillance for essential chemical, physiochemical and endogenous population size markers testing with dual benefits — time and cost savings. All necessary analysis steps are automated, providing true walkaway time for the
operators to perform other tasks or to monitor multiple systems.
Parallel determination of multiple analytes from a single sample as well as the presence of several automated features ensures sample throughput and analytical efficiency to support public health agencies. Ready-to-use Thermo Scientific™ Gallery™ reagent kits for water analysis offer: