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Detecting of SARS CoV-2 in wastewater

A team of Japanese scientists have developed a simple, rapid, highly sensitive method for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.

During the pandemic, Japan has had a low number of cases per capita. The viral loads in sewage have also been low, meaning more difficulty using established wastewater-based epidemiology methods.

The new method, EPISENS-S, involves centrifuging collected wastewater samples to separate all the solids in the samples.

The solids are treated with a commercially available kit to extract all the RNA, which is then reverse transcribed and amplified to obtain a substantial number of DNA copies. A separate set of samples was subjected to treatment with polyethylene glycol followed by RNA extraction and reverse transcription to synthesise DNA: the method that is currently widely implemented in Japan. The DNA obtained from each of these methods was subjected to quantitative PCR.

The team found that the EPISENS-S method was approximately 100 times more sensitive.

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Image Credit | iStock

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Tech news: December 2022

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