Manupati Hemalatha, Athmakuri Tharak, Harishankar Kopperi, Uday Kiran, C. G. Gokulan, Rakesh K Mishra, S Venkata Mohan
The possible faecal-oral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through domestic discharges has emerged as a serious public health concern. Based on persistence of the virus in environment, the wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) enabled the surveillance of infection in a community. The water bodies connected to the anthropogenic activities have strong possibility of presence of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic material. In this work, we monitored urban, peri-urban and rural lakes in and around Hyderabad as a long-term surveillance study for presence of enteric virus SARS-CoV-2 gene fragments. The study time of seven months coincided with the first and second wave of COVID-19 infection. The study depicted differential viral RNA copies in the urban lake with high viral load observed during the peaks of wave I and wave II. Distinct variability in viral genes detection was observed amongst all five lakes which were in concordance with the human activity of the catchment area. The SARS-CoV-2 genes were not detected in peri-urban and rural lakes, whereas the urban lakes having direct functional attributes from domestic activity, in the community showed presence of viral load. The outcome of the study clearly shows that the urban water streams linked with domestic discharge will function as a proxy for wastewater epidemiological studies. The surge in viral gene load from February 2021 sample suggests the on shoot of the second wave of infection, which correlated well with the prevailing pandemic situation. Implementation of regular WBE based monitoring system for the water bodies/wastewater in the urban and semi-urban areas will help to understand the outbreak and spread of virus in the community.
Competing Interest Statement
The authors have declared no competing interest.
The work was supported by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) New Delhi India in the form of project entitled Testing for COVID-19 in wastewater as a community surveillance measure (6/1/COVID-19/2020/IMD)
I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.
The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:
The work was supported by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)New Delhi India in the form of project entitled Testing for COVID-19 in wastewater as a community surveillance measure (6/1/COVID-19/2020/IMD)
All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.
I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).
I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.