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Implementing an adaptive, two-tiered SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance program on a university campus using passive sampling

Description: Wastewater-based surveillance (WBS) has been increasingly applied at sites upstream of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to monitoring SARS-CoV-2 RNA at the building-scale. The dataset described is the result of an eight-month long passive sampling campaign on the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON) campus. The goal was to determine if passive sampling could support institution-level decision-making. In brief, the method involved the 24-hour deployment of cotton gauze passive samplers enclosed in a 3D printed housing vessel. Upon collection, passive sampling materials were washed and the resulting solids were concentrated. RNA extraction from solids was performed using a kit-based extraction method. Two regions of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene (e.g., N1, N2) as well as the endogenous indicator pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) were quantified using RT-qPCR. Our study demonstrated that cotton gauze was able to identify trends in SARS-CoV-2 burdens on campus and that viral concentrations on passive samplers were significantly correlated with known clinical cases in the catchment. The dataset also includes monitoring data collected at the nearby municipal WWTP which offers insight to transmission dynamics at both sampling scales. Further developing affordable WBS methodologies will benefit future monitoring efforts under novel public health scenarios.
Authors: Haskell, Blake R.; University of Waterloo; ORCID iD 0009-0002-6620-2070
Dhiyebi, Hadi A.; University of Waterloo; ORCID iD 0000-0002-8101-8960
Servos, Mark; University of Waterloo; ORCID iD 0000-0002-3783-627X
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2
passive sampling
wastewater-based surveillance
Field of Research: 
Biological sciences
Other biological sciences
Other biological sciences
Publication Date: 2023-12-13
Publisher: Federated Research Data Repository / dépôt fédéré de données de recherche
Funder: Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks; TPA 2021-02-1-1564736554
Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF); Global Water Futures Program
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; Discovery; RGPIN-2017-03816
Canada Research Chairs; CRC-2017-00230
Global Water Futures; Lake Futures: Enhancing Adaptive Capacity and Resilience of Lakes and their Watersheds; 410295
Related Identifiers: 
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Geographic Coverage: 
Place Name
University of Waterloo
Province /
Province / Territory
Geographic Point: 
Appears in Collections:Water Institute

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Access to this dataset is subject to the following terms:
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Haskell, B., Dhiyebi, H., Servos, M. (2023). Implementing an adaptive, two-tiered SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance program on a university campus using passive sampling. Federated Research Data Repository.