Our involvement in the UK nationwide surveillance programme is highlighted in a news clip on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams (15 July 2020) and in a Feature article in BJM, Sewage monitoring is the UK’s next defence against covid-19, by Chris Baraniuk (15 July 2020). Additionally, our UK work is reported in Con apoyo del CONACYT investigadores crearán herramienta que ayudará a controlar la pandemia en Paraguay from the Consejo National de Cienci y Technologia (13 July 2020). This describes the development of a national sewage SARS-CoV-2 surveillance program for Paraguay.
We are one of the teams on the new £1m research programme seeking to establish an early warning of future outbreaks and reduce reliance on costly testing of large populations. The research programme led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), also involves researchers from the universities of Bangor, Bath, Edinburgh, Cranfield, Lancaster, Oxford and Sheffield, plus the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Read the news releases from Newcastle University and UKCEH. This work is an extension to our UK and Spanish SARS-CoV-2 Project.
- BBC | News | Science & Environment Coronavirus: Testing sewage an ‘easy win’ – nice article, but we did not develop the original method for SARS-CoV-2. We have improved on the previous method to make it more exact and make it more possible to approximate the human population from which it came.
- BBC | World Service | listen from 17:56
- BBC | Radio Newcastle | listen from 3:46:13
Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC) funds have been provided to sample and analyse sewage to estimate local concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 (the COVID-19 virus) across networks in Spain and North East England. The aim is to develop a way to quantify the prevalence of the COVID-19 infected individuals across the regions based on sewage data. If successful, this monitoring would help public health officials identify possible infection ‘hot spots,’ which captures both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals across a community.
The project is being co-led by Professor David Graham and Dr Marcos Quintela, with their close colleague Professor Jesús Romalde in Santiago. They also will be working with water industry partners Northumbrian Water and Labaqua, which is part of the SUEZ corporation.