Wastewater-Based COVID-19 Surveillance Centers of Excellence

Large-scale wastewater surveillance can be used to help communities monitor infection dynamics for SARS-CoV-2, but wide-spread implementation of wastewater surveillance has been stymied by lack of a robust, high-throughput viral concentration method.

Ceres Nanosciences’ Nanotrap® Magnetic Virus Particles enable a rapid, automated viral concentration method that directly feeds into RNA extraction and analysis. Using this method, all steps from concentration to RT-qPCR plating are performed hands-free and conducted by laboratory robots, enabling the processing of 96 raw sewage samples in just 4.5 hours (concentration to RT-qPCR detection/quantification), effectively reducing the processing time by at least 20-fold. This method can enable the processing of over 100 wastewater samples in a day.

Case study: Since November 2020, the University of California San Diego has used this method to process more than 21,000 samples from 121 wastewater samplers covering 350 buildings on campus, more than 1000 samples for 35 San Diego K-12 schools, and more than 200 samples from the Point Loma wastewater treatment plant. The sensitivity of the high-throughput protocol was shown to detect 1 asymptomatic individual in a building of 415 residents. Nearly 85% of the individual cases on the UCSD campus were preceded by positive wastewater samples. Extracted RNA samples from this high-throughput method can be used for viral genome sequencing.

With support from the NIH RADx program, Ceres Nanosciences is now deploying this high-throughput method to 15 additional Centers of Excellence around the United States.

These Centers will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate an ability to utilize the additional surveillance capacity to extend services into underserved and underprivileged communities and to integrate their surveillance systems with local, state, Tribal, and Federal public health decision makers. Centers will also be selected to cover a range of geographic locations, in order to provide additional information about different populations and water types around the country. Centers will be expected to share data and results local and state public health authorities and work toward being able to participate in the CDC National Wastewater Surveillance System by contributing data to the DCIPHER platform in the future. Centers should also have an interest in performing or the existing capability to perform variant sequencing as part of surveillance monitoring.

If you or your organization would like to learn more about how to participate in this program, please fill in your information below or email sales@ceresnano.com. Someone from Ceres Nanosciences will contact you shortly. 

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