American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)

Source:

Yakubu H, et al. Abstract LB-5241. Presented at: American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-21, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
November 26, 2021
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Wastewater-based COVID-19 surveillance offers low-cost, rapid testing for African nations

Source:

Yakubu H, et al. Abstract LB-5241. Presented at: American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-21, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Wastewater-based surveillance for COVID-19 was shown to be effective and feasible in low-resource settings, according to data presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene meeting.

Habib Yakubu, MPH, the associate director of research projects at Emory University, and colleagues analyzed 208 wastewater samples from January through May at sites near Accra, Ghana — three sites primarily served by sewage systems, and six nonsewered public toilets.

Yakubu H, et al. Abstract LB-5241. Presented at: American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-21, 2021 (virtual meeting).
Yakubu H, et al. Abstract LB-5241. Presented at: American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-21, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Weekly counts confirmed that COVID-19 cases were detected from both sites. Of 134 samples from nonsewered public toilets, 11.2% tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Of 74 samples from the sewage network, 35.1% tested positive.

Habib Yakubu

“In Ghana, the Ghana Health Service is using this information to inform [the] COVID-19 response in vulnerable communities where COVID-19 cases have not been reported and in institutions such as schools and industrial settings,” Yakubu told Healio. “In the future, Ghana Health Service plans to use wastewater testing to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns and COVID-19 infection at points of entry into Ghana.”

In a second study also presented at the meeting, Evelin Martínez, a research assistant at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, and colleagues demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 genes can be detected through wastewater-based surveillance.

They collected weekly samples in two of four wastewater sedimentation treatment plants in León, Nicaragua. A total of 61.7% of all wastewater sample tested positive — 67.5% from one site, and 56.1% from the other.

No correlation between SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and sewage temperature, pH level or precipitation was detected.

“It is inspiring to see our researchers digging deep into so many different aspects of the pandemic,” ASTMH President Julie Jacobson, MD, DTM&H, said in a press release.

References:

Martinez E, et al. Abstract 0860. Presented at: American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-21, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Yakubu H, et al. Abstract LB-5241. Presented at: American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting; Nov. 17-21, 2021 (virtual meeting).