Challenges to detect SARS-CoV-2 on environmental media, the need and strategies to implement the detection methodologies in wastewaters

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Sanchez-Galan J. E., Ureña G., Escovar L. F., Fabrega-Duque J. R., Coles A., Kurt Z.

Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, vol.9, no.5, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jece.2021.105881
  • Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Compendex, INSPEC, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, Sewage line sampling, Environmental media, COVID-19, Cost-effective outbreak monitoring, Post-pandemic decision making tool, ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME, ASSESSING COMMUNITY-HEALTH, MONITORING WASTE-WATER, CORONAVIRUS, SURVIVAL, DISINFECTION, TRANSMISSION, INACTIVATION, SEWAGE, SENSITIVITY
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 Elsevier LtdUnderstanding risks, putting in place preventative methods to seamlessly continue daily activities are essential tools to fight a pandemic. All social, commercial and leisure activities have an impact on the environmental media. Therefore, to accurately predict the fate and behavior of viruses in the environment, it is necessary to understand and analyze available detection methods, possible transmission pathways and preventative techniques. The aim of this review is to critically analyze and summarize the research done regarding SARS-COV-2 virus detection, focusing on sampling and laboratory detection methods in environmental media. Special attention will be given to wastewater and sewage sludge. This review has summarized the survival of the virus on surfaces to estimate the risk carried by different environmental media (water, wastewater, air and soil) in order to explain which communities are under higher risk. The critical analysis concludes that the detection of SARS-CoV-2 with current technologies and sampling strategies would reveal the presence of the virus. This information could be used to design systematic sampling points throughout the sewage systems when available, taking into account peak flows and more importantly economic factors on when to sample. Such approaches will provide clues for potential future viral outbreak, saving financial resources by reducing testing necessities for viral detection, hence contributing for more appropriate confinement policies by governments and could be further used to define more precisely post-pandemic or additional waves measures if/ when needed.