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Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 Through Wastewater-Based Epidemiology and COVID-19 Clinical Testing Data on a Large US University Campus

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As the return to normality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic enters its early stages, the necessity for accurate, quick, and community-wide surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has been emphasized. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been used across the world as a

As the return to normality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic enters its early stages, the necessity for accurate, quick, and community-wide surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has been emphasized. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been used across the world as a tool for monitoring the pandemic, but studies of its efficacy in comparison to the best-known method for surveillance, randomly selected COVID-19 testing, has limited research. This study evaluated the trends and correlations present between SARS-CoV-2 in the effluent wastewater of a large university campus and random COVID-19 testing results published by the university. A moderately strong positive correlation was found between the random testing and WBE surveillance methods (r = 0.63), and this correlation was strengthened when accommodating for lost samples during the experiment (r = 0.74).

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2021-05

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The Making of a COVID Testing Laboratory: The Academic Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Through qPCR, Saliva Testing, and Lab Workflow

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In mid-March of 2020, Arizona State University transformed one of its research labs into ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory (ABCTL) to meet the testing needs of the surrounding community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lab uses RT-qPCR, or reverse transcription

In mid-March of 2020, Arizona State University transformed one of its research labs into ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory (ABCTL) to meet the testing needs of the surrounding community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lab uses RT-qPCR, or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, to match the components of a biosample to a portion of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The ABCTL uses the TaqPath™ COVID-19 Combo Kit, which has undergone many different types of efficacy and efficiency tests and can successfully denote saliva samples as positive even when an individual is infected with various emerging strains of the SARS-CoV-2. Samples are collected by volunteers at testing sites with stringent biosafety precautions and processed in the lab using specific guidelines. As the pandemic eventually becomes less demanding, the ABCTL plans to utilize the Devil’s Drop-off program at various school districts around Arizona to increase testing availability, transfer to the SalivaDirect method, and provide other forms of pathogen testing to distinguish COVID-19 from other types of infections in the ASU community.

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2021-05