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Title: Time-evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater during the first pandemic wave of COVID-19 in the metropolitan area of Barcelona
Author: Chavarria-Miró, Gemma
Anfruns-Estrada, Eduard
Martínez Velázquez, Adan
Vázquez-Portero, Mario
Guix Arnau, Susana
Paraira, Miquel
Galofré, Belén
Sánchez, Gloria
Pintó Solé, Rosa María
Bosch, Albert
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2
Aigües residuals
Barcelona (Catalunya : Àrea metropolitana)
Barcelona (Catalonia : Metropolitan area)
Issue Date: Mar-2021
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Abstract: Two large wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), covering around 2.7 M inhabitants, which represents around 85% of the metropolitan area of Barcelona, were sampled before, during and after the implementation of a complete lockdown. Five one-step RT-qPCR assays, targeting the polymerase (IP2 and IP4), the envelope E and the nucleoprotein (N1 and N2) genome regions, were employed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in 24-h composite wastewater samples concentrated by polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in a sewage sample collected 41 days ahead of the declaration of the first COVID-19 case. The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 genome copies in wastewater evidenced the validity of water-based epidemiology to anticipate COVID-19 outbreaks, to evaluate the impact of control measures and even to estimate the burden of shedders, including presymptomatic, asymptomatic, symptomatic and undiagnosed cases. For this latter objective, a model was applied for the estimation of the total number of shedders, evidencing a high proportion of asymptomatic infected individuals. In this way, an infection prevalence of 2.0-6.5% was figured. On the other hand, a proportion of around 0.12% and 0.09% of the total population was determined to be required for positive detection in the two WWTPs. At the end of the lockdown, SARS-CoV-2 RNA apparently disappeared in the WWTPs but could still be detected in grab samples from four urban sewers. Sewer monitoring allowed for location of specific hot spots of COVID-19, enabling the rapid adoption of appropriate mitigation measures.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2021, vol. 87, num. 7, p. e02750
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ISSN: 0099-2240
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística)

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