An interdisciplinary research team at Queen’s University is taking the first step in establishing a local group in the National Sewage Sentinel Surveillance in Canada.
An interdisciplinary research team at Queen’s University is taking the first step in establishing a local group in the National Sewage Sentinel Surveillance in Canada. The pilot project is developing capacity to detect SARS-CoV-2 (the infectious agent that causes COVID-19) in sewage and septic samples.
This work, being conducted at the Beaty Water Research Centre (BWRC), will help with early detection of community-borne COVID-19 and can also be applied to future viral outbreaks.
“The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been detected in stool of some infected individuals, including asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic,” says Stephen Brown, professor in the Department of Chemistry and an affiliate of BWRC. “Feces of COVID-19 infected patients may serve as a mechanism for community surveillance with the possibility of earlier detection of outbreaks.”
The focus of the initial study will be to work with samples from potential hotspots as a way to monitor campus health. The team will also be receiving samples from the Peel region, which has continuously been a hotspot in Ontario for COVID-19 cases.
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Image via Queen’s University.