Looking for a needle in a haystack. SARS-CoV-2 variant characterization in sewage
November 2021.- SARS-CoV-2 variants are emerging worldwide and monitoring them is key in providing early warnings. The new scientific publication 'Looking for a needle in a haystack. SARS-CoV-2 variant characterization in sewage' coauthored by members of Omicstech, summarizes the different analytical approaches currently used to study the dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 variants in wastewater and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
This work is a collaboration between the Laboratory of Viruses Contaminants of Water and Food, from the Genetics, Microbiology & Statistics Department at the University of Barcelona; the Water Research Institute (ICRA); the Institute of Environmental Assessment & Water Research (IDAEA) of CSIC and researchers from the Center for Omic Sciences (COS), member of OmicsTech. COS is a Joint Unit between Eurecat and Rovira i Virgili University. This article provides preliminary results of two sensitive and cost-effective approaches: variant-specific reverse transcription-nested PCR assays and a non-variant-specific amplicon deep sequencing strategy that targets three key regions of the viral spike protein.
Next-generation sequencing approaches enable the simultaneous detection of signature mutations of different variants of concern in a single assay and may be the best option to explore the real picture at a particular time. Targeted PCR approaches focused on specific signature mutations will need continuous updating, but are sensitive and cost-effective.
Reference of the article:
Marta Itarte, Sílvia Bofill-Mas, Sandra Martínez-Puchol, Helena Torrell, Adrià Ceretó, Marina Carrasco, Eva Forés, Núria Canela, Rosina Girones, Marta Rusiñol, Looking for a needle in a haystack. SARS-CoV-2 variant characterization in sewage, Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, 2021, 100308, ISSN 2468-5844
This study was developed in VIRWASTE project, funded by the program ‘Pandemies 2020’ of Agència de Gestió d’Ajunts Universitaris of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and in PROCEED project (PREDICCIÓN EPIDEMIOLÓGICA TRANSVERSAL PARA LA GESTIÓN DE LA EVOLUCIÓN Y EL USO DE RECURSOS EN PANDEMIAS exp - 00132149 / COI-20201289), funded by CDTI program of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.