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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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A Plant-produced SARS-CoV-2 Subunit Vaccine and Therapeutic Candidate

Description

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been responsible for significant social and economic
disruption, prompting an urgent search for therapeutic solutions. The spike protein of the virus
has been examined

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been responsible for significant social and economic
disruption, prompting an urgent search for therapeutic solutions. The spike protein of the virus
has been examined as an immunogenic target because of its role in viral binding and fusion
necessary for infection of host cells. Previous studies have identified a recombinant protein
(denoted as S1) that has been shown to potentially induce a neutralizing antibody response by
mimicking the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We have produced the S1 in plants
using agroinfiltration, a plant transformation technique whereby plasmid-containing
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is injected into Nicotiana benthamiana plants, resulting in transfer of
the desired gene from bacteria to plant cells. S1 was expressed to high levels within 5 days of
infiltration, and Western blot analysis showed recognition of the S1 by an anti-S1 antibody.
ELISA results exhibited increased binding activity to anti-S1 with increasing concentrations of
S1, indicating their specific interaction. This ongoing study will demonstrate the potential of a
plant-produced S1 as a vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic tool against COVID-19 that is not
only effective, but also cost-efficient and scalable in comparison to conventional mammalian cell
culture production methods.

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Date Created
2020-12