The diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection requires the detection of viral RNA by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) performed mainly using nasopharyngeal swabs. However, this procedure requires separate analysis per each individual, performed in advanced centralized laboratory facilities with specialized medical personnel. In this study, an alternative approach termed “solid waste-based surveillance (SWBS)” was explored, in order to investigate SARS-CoV-2 infection in small communities through the indirect sampling of saliva left on waste. Sampling was performed at 20 different sites in Italy during the second peak of COVID-19. Three swabs were positive for SARS-CoV-2 using a published RT-qPCR protocol targeting the non-structural protein 14 region, and the viral load ranged 4.8 × 103–4.0 × 106 genome copies/swab. Amino acid substitutions already reported in SARS-CoV-2 sequences circulating in Italy (A222V and P521S) were detected in two positive samples. These findings confirmed the effectiveness of SWBS for non-invasive and dynamic SARS-CoV-2 surveillance.

An innovative approach for the non-invasive surveillance of communities and early detection of SARS-CoV-2 via solid waste analysis

Bonato T.;Pivato A.;Piazza R.;
2021

Abstract

The diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection requires the detection of viral RNA by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) performed mainly using nasopharyngeal swabs. However, this procedure requires separate analysis per each individual, performed in advanced centralized laboratory facilities with specialized medical personnel. In this study, an alternative approach termed “solid waste-based surveillance (SWBS)” was explored, in order to investigate SARS-CoV-2 infection in small communities through the indirect sampling of saliva left on waste. Sampling was performed at 20 different sites in Italy during the second peak of COVID-19. Three swabs were positive for SARS-CoV-2 using a published RT-qPCR protocol targeting the non-structural protein 14 region, and the viral load ranged 4.8 × 103–4.0 × 106 genome copies/swab. Amino acid substitutions already reported in SARS-CoV-2 sequences circulating in Italy (A222V and P521S) were detected in two positive samples. These findings confirmed the effectiveness of SWBS for non-invasive and dynamic SARS-CoV-2 surveillance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3399763
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