SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in untreated wastewater: detection of viral RNA in a low-resource community in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Iglesias et al.


To measure SARS-CoV-2 RNA in sewage in a low-resource community in order to determine if it can be considered as an estimator of changes in the prevalence of COVID-19 in the population.


In this descriptive observational study we collected samples of surface waters contaminated with sewage and optimized a method of purification of viral RNA using PEG concentration. We determined the amount of genetic material by quantitative real-time PCR using the CDC method for SARS-CoV-2 detection.


We quantified viral RNA in surface waters contaminated with sewage of a low resource community and determined that temporal trends of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples mirrored trends in COVID-19 active cases.


Measuring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in sewage can be applied in low-resource communities without connection to sewers as an estimator of changes in the prevalence of COVID-19.

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