SARS-Cov-2 in wastewater: a seven-month period of monitoring infection dynamic in Athens

Paper ID: 
Wastewater-based epidemiology to monitor covid-19 outbreak: present and future diagnostic methods to be in your radar
Published under CEST2021
Proceedings ISBN: 978-618-86292-1-9
Proceedings ISSN: 2944-9820
Kontou A., Galani A., Kostakis M., Markou A., Lianidou E., (Corresponding) Thomaidis N.
Since December 2019, COVID-19 has spread rapidly all over the world with considerable morbidity and mortality. SARS-CoV-2 infections are accompanied by the shedding of virus in feces of both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, indicating that Wastewater-based Epidemiology (WBE) is an appropriate chemical tool to monitor the number of infections and disease prevalence in a community level. In the current study, SARS-CoV-2 load was measured in influent wastewater from Athens from November 2020 until May 2021. PEG precipitation and Water DNA/RNA Magnetic Bead kit were selected as the concentration and extraction method, respectively. The study timeline is divided in three different phases based on the levels of viral load. On 7th of November 2020, Greek government announced the second strict total lockdown after March 2020. Viral load was stable during December and the first days of January, indicating the effectiveness of lockdown and restrictions. After the announcement of the third lockdown (20th of February) the viral load reached peak levels especially during April (more than 100,000 copies/L from 17th to 20th of April). On May 14th, the end of lockdown was announced, while the number of vaccinations had been increased and the viral load was significantly decreased to approximately 37,000 copies/L.
Wastewater-based epidemiology, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, infection, wastewater surveillance