June 25, 2021

Tinyiko Nicole Maswanganye (North Carolina A&T State University)

Determining evolutionary mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2: Water waste surveillance

Spring 2021 Graduate Student Award in Pathogenic and Commensal Organisms


In order to lower SARS-CoV-2 cases, we have first to monitor how they able to spread across the campus of NCAT. Additionally, monitoring and contact tracing Covid-19 cases will enable the campus to operate normally and minimize the risk of students returning to online learning or having to vacant campus housing. Data collected from previous epidemics and pandemics have indicated that it is essential to implement protocols for clinical testing and diagnosis of new infections. Therefore, wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) can serve as an additional testing application during this pandemic. Although it is unlikely that wastewater would play a significant role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, recent studies across the world have indicated that WBE can serve as a tool for the mitigation of COVID-19 outbreak. Since the discovery of WBE, the tool has integrated unique techniques which can provide scientist and the public health services with data that demonstrates prevalence and epidemiology of the disease in communities. WBE has emerged as a feasible option for assessing SARS-CoV-2 in various populations in real-time. This application is adequate in recording the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in wastewater and link it to the frequency of virus shedders in the population. Therefore, this research strategy will continue to broaden the scope of surveying the population testing to reduce unwarranted clinical testing and mutations.