HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Microscopic Observation of SARS-Like Particles in RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2 Positive Sewage Samples

Abstract : The ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection has spread rapidly worldwide. The major transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2 are recognised as inhalation of aerosol/droplets and person-to-person contact. However, some studies have demonstrated that live SARS-CoV-2 can be isolated from the faeces and urine of infected patients, which can then enter the wastewater system. The currently available evidence indicates that the viral RNA present in wastewater may become a potential source of epidemiological data. However, to investigate whether wastewater may present a risk to humans such as sewage workers, we investigated whether intact particles of SARS-CoV-2 were observable and whether it was possible to isolate the virus in wastewater. Using a correlative strategy of light microscopy and electron microscopy (CLEM), we demonstrated the presence of intact and degraded SARS-like particles in RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive sewage sample collected in the city of Marseille. However, the viral infectivity assessment of SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater was inconclusive, due to the presence of other viruses known to be highly resistant in the environment such as enteroviruses, rhinoviruses, and adenoviruses. Although the survival and the infectious risk of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater cannot be excluded from our study, additional work may be required to investigate the stability, viability, fate, and decay mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 thoroughly in wastewater.
Complete list of metadata

Contributor : Isabelle Combe Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 9:20:53 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:53:01 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 6:10:34 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License




Djamal Brahim Belhaouari, Nathalie Wurtz, Clio Grimaldier, Alexandre Lacoste, Gabriel Augusto Pires de Souza, et al.. Microscopic Observation of SARS-Like Particles in RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2 Positive Sewage Samples. Pathogens, MDPI, 2021, 10 (5), pp.516. ⟨10.3390/pathogens10050516⟩. ⟨hal-03281585⟩



Record views


Files downloads