What is it about?

This study examined SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in low-resource communities without centralized sewers. Wastewater samples from urban and rural areas in Thailand were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA variants. The concentration of RNA in wastewater increased 14-20 days before official reports of infected individuals. Community/food markets were identified as infection hotspots. This approach enables early detection and preparedness to prevent outbreaks.

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Why is it important?

This study addresses the need for equitable surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in low-resource communities without centralized sewers. By analyzing wastewater samples, the researchers were able to detect the virus's RNA variants and estimate its spread earlier than official reports of infected individuals. This early detection allows for timely interventions and preparedness measures to mitigate significant outbreaks. Additionally, identifying community and food markets as hotspots highlights the importance of targeted interventions in these high-risk areas.


This study provides valuable insights and a potential tool for monitoring and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in resource-limited settings.

Charin Modchang
Mahidol University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: COVID-19 monitoring with sparse sampling of sewered and non-sewered wastewater in urban and rural communities, iScience, July 2023, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.107019.
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