This is a summary, written by members of the CITF Secretariat, of:

Nourbakhsh S, Fazil A, Li M, Mangat CS, Peterson SW, Daigle J, Langner S, Shurgold J, D’Aoust P, Delatolla R, Mercier E, Pang X, Lee BE, Stuart R, Wijayasri S, Champredon D.  A Wastewater-based epidemic model for SARS-CoV-2 with application to three Canadian cities. medRxiv. July 25 2021. doi:

The results and/or conclusions contained in the research do not necessarily reflect the views of all CITF members.

Wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 involves testing sewage for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, which if present, would suggest some level of infection in the source population. In a recent preprint, therefore not yet peer-reviewed, researchers present a computational model to better understand the dynamics between transmission of the virus in a community and its concentration in the wastewater. The model was tested using data from six wastewater treatment plants in three Canadian cities: Ottawa, Toronto, and Edmonton, the latter in collaboration with CITF researchers Drs. Xiaoli Pang and Bonita Lee. The authors of the preprint note that in addition to clinical PCR testing, wastewater surveillance can enhance our knowledge of local outbreaks, allowing public health authorities to step in and act much sooner.