Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019

Relevance to Water Are wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operators at risk from SARS-CoV-2 infection through exposure to human urine or faeces? Background information about SARS-CoV-2 The hormone angiotensin regulates fluid and blood pressure. In healthy humans angiotensin binds to its receptor (named angiotensin converting enzyme 2, or ACE2) which is expressed by cells that lineContinue reading “Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019”

Can the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 to UV radiation be inferred by comparison of its viral structure with well-studied waterborne viruses?

The key reference for this post is a paper titled “Nucleic Acid Photolysis by UV254 and the Impact of Virus Encapsidation”. This paper was published in Environmental Science and Technology in 2018 and reports the outcomes of work undertaken by the research group of Dr Krista Wigginton at the University of Michigan. This paper providesContinue reading “Can the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 to UV radiation be inferred by comparison of its viral structure with well-studied waterborne viruses?”

Evidence for Gastrointestinal Infection of SARS-CoV-2

A paper in press in Gastroenterology (preprint) reports on examination of fecal samples from 71 patients in China who were symptomatic for COVID19.  53% of the patients were positive for SARS-COV-2 RNA in their feces, and of these 17 had negative respiratory tests for SARS-CoV-2. The authors did a detailed workup of gastrointestinal cells harvested fromContinue reading “Evidence for Gastrointestinal Infection of SARS-CoV-2”

Reactivity of Enveloped Virus Genome, Proteins, and Lipids with Free Chlorine and UV254

The current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 is that waterborne transmission is unlikely to be an important mode of infection. While the virus RNA has been reported in untreated sewage (and many more such reports can be anticipated throughout 2020 and beyond), these reports do no imply that viable, infective virus is present. Very few studies haveContinue reading “Reactivity of Enveloped Virus Genome, Proteins, and Lipids with Free Chlorine and UV254”

Evaluation of Phi6 Persistence and Suitability as an Enveloped Virus Surrogate

Understanding the survival and fate of viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 in water is important to enable us to model and predict exposure risks through contact with wastewater, environmental water systems and drinking water. In particular, it will be necessary to understand how variable factors such as temperature, pH, salinity, organic matter concentration, or other matrixContinue reading “Evaluation of Phi6 Persistence and Suitability as an Enveloped Virus Surrogate”

OPINION: Faecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2, a snapshot of current data and implications for the water industry

There has been quite some talk about SARS-CoV-2 shedding in faeces and what that might mean for the water industry.  As I see it, there are two aspects to this conversation: the first is a concern that sewage may contain infectious SARS-CoV-2 viruses; and the second relates to the more theoretical potential of using SARS-CoV-2Continue reading “OPINION: Faecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2, a snapshot of current data and implications for the water industry”

Survivability, Partitioning, and Recovery of Enveloped Viruses in Untreated Municipal Wastewater

This is a paper from the research team led by Associate Professor Krista Wigginton at the University of Michigan. Wigginton’s team have focused on the fate of enveloped viruses (including coronaviruses) in the urban water cycle (drinking water, sewage, sewage treatment) for much of the last decade. Most researchers studying viruses in water have focusedContinue reading “Survivability, Partitioning, and Recovery of Enveloped Viruses in Untreated Municipal Wastewater”

Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks

This study was undertaken in an outpatient clinic of a private hospital in Hong Kong between March 2013 and May 2016, and has just recently been published in Nature Medicine.  A total of 111 patients infected with human coronavirus (n=17), influenza virus (n=43) and/or rhinovirus (n=54) (three participants had coinfections) formed the focus of theContinue reading “Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks”

Research Needs for Wastewater Handling in Virus Outbreak Response

This paper is the fourth and final scientific opinion piece, published as a non-peer reviewed contribution to the Environmental Science and Technology virtual issue on the fate and behaviour of enveloped viruses in the environment. The authors are Kyle Bibby (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Nathalia Aquino de Carvalho (University of Pittsburgh, USA), and Krista WiggintonContinue reading “Research Needs for Wastewater Handling in Virus Outbreak Response”

Can a Paper-Based Device Trace COVID-19 Sources with Wastewater-Based Epidemiology?

This is another short “scientific opinion” paper, produced for inclusion in the recent Environmental Science and Technology virtual issue on the fate and behaviour of enveloped viruses in the environment. These scientific opinion pieces are non-peer reviewed, but are written by recognised experts in their field and should be viewed as a means to stimulatingContinue reading “Can a Paper-Based Device Trace COVID-19 Sources with Wastewater-Based Epidemiology?”