A team of scientists from Noakhali Science and Technology University (NSTU) and North South University (NSU) has claimed to make the first and successful attempt to detect SARS-CoV-2 viruses’ genetic material in the sewage water.
The team is led by Professor Firoz Ahmed, Chairman Dept. of Microbiology, Noakhali Science and Technology University (NSTU), said a media release issued by NSTU on Saturday.
They collected specimens in between 10th July and 29th August, 2020 from drain, sewage and toilets near Shaheed Bhulu Stadium Detention Centre dedicated for COVID-19 patients at Noakhali, Bangladesh.
The team “successfully detected” several genes including ORF1ab, and N protein genes, from the sewage water samples, it said.
While the wastewater surveillance of COVID-19 has been focused on wastewater treatment plants around the world, the researchers opted for drain waters monitoring in the vicinity of isolation center, which is first of its kind.
Apart from this being the first detection report of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the wastewaters of Bangladesh.
The uniqueness of the study has been the tracing of genetic load in the vicinity of isolation center that contains almost the constant number with COVID-19 patients.
This has been the key feature of this study as most of the study reported worldwide has either reported total infected person in the city or country, said the media release.
However, the critical observation has been the temporal variation where small drains showed reduction of genetic load, the bigger canal and main sewer city exhibited temporal accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
On the other hand, distance of sampling location in meters appears to be insignificant from the perspective of wastewater surveillance of COVID-19.