Extensive Wastewater-Based Epidemiology as a Resourceful Tool for SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance in a Low-to-Middle-Income Country through a Successful Collaborative Quest: WBE, Mobility, and Clinical Tests

Juan Eduardo Sosa-Hernández, Mariel Araceli Oyervides-Muñoz, Elda M. Melchor-Martínez, Erin M. Driver, Devin A. Bowes, Simona Kraberger, Sofia Liliana Lucero-Saucedo, Rafaela S. Fontenele, Lizeth Parra-Arroyo, Larinda A. Holland, Samantha Ayde Peña-Benavides, Melanie Engstrom Newell, Manuel Martínez-Ruiz, Sangeet Adhikari, Laura Isabel Rodas-Zuluaga, Rahul Kumar, Itzel Y. López-Pacheco, Carlos Castillo-Zacarias, Hafiz M.N. Iqbal, Efrem S. LimDaniel Salas-Limón, Arvind Varsani, Rolf U. Halden, Roberto Parra-Saldívar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged healthcare systems worldwide. Efforts in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs) cannot keep stride with infection rates, especially during peaks. A strong international collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU), Tec de Monterrey (TEC), and Servicios de Agua y Drenaje de Monterrey (Local Water Utilities) is acting to integrate wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) of SARS-CoV-2 in the region as a complementary approach to aid the healthcare system. Wastewater was collected from four sewer catchments in the Monterrey Metropolitan area in Mexico (pop. 4,643,232) from mid-April 2020 to February 2021 (44 weeks, n = 644). Raw wastewater was filtered and filter-concentrated, the RNA was extracted using columns, and the Charité/Berlin protocol was used for the RT-qPCR. The viral loads obtained between the first (June 2020) and second waves (February 2021) of the pandemic were similar; in contrast, the clinical cases were fewer during the first wave, indicating poor coverage. During the second wave of the pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 quantification in wastewater increased 14 days earlier than the COVID-19 clinical cases reported. This is the first long-term WBE study in Mexico and demonstrates its value in pandemic management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1842
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater
  • SARS-CoV-2 surveillance
  • public health
  • wastewater-based epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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