Scientific studies highlight that untreated wastewater is an important indicator of virus circulation in a population. In the case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, individuals infected with the virus, are both symptomatic and asymptomatic. A valuable tool to complement and strengthen the clinical and epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19 would thus be to detect RNA in wastewater.
Innovation: EARTO Member Eurecat developed the SarsAigua, in collaboration with Catalan health authorities (ASPCAT), water authorities (ACA), University of Barcelona (UB) and ICRA, a genetic detection program which tracks the spread of COVID-19 in wastewater treatment plants. It is available through a software platform, consisting of data homogenisation, continuous research on genome regions correlations as well as data systemic exploitation, being integrated with clinical and socioeconomic data.
Impact Delivered: SarsAigua contributes to the control, minimisation and prevention of COVID-19, identification of emerging variants and preparation of upcoming epidemics. It also offers a sewage surveillance of over 80% of the incoming wastewater of the Catalan population. SarsAigua transformed the way health authorities make real-time decisions during coronavirus waves by providing information on how viruses circulate among social communities.