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Viral RNA in City Wastewater as a Key Indicator of COVID-19 Recrudescence and Containment Measures Effectiveness

Abstract : In recent years, and more specifically at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, wastewater surveillance has been proposed as a tool to monitor the epidemiology of human viral infections. In the present work, from July to December 2020, the number of copies of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Marseille’s wastewater was correlated with the number of new positive cases diagnosed in our Institute of Infectious Disease, which tested about 20% of the city’s population. Number of positive cases and number of copies of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater were significantly correlated ( p = 0.013). During the great epidemic peak, from October to December 2020, the curves of virus in the sewers and the curves of positive diagnoses were perfectly superposed. During the summer period, the superposition of curves was less evident as subject to many confounding factors that were discussed. We also tried to correlate the effect of viral circulation in wastewater with containment measures, probably the most unbiased correlation on their potential inflection effect of epidemic curves. Not only is this correlation not obvious, but it also clearly appears that the drop in cases as well as the drop in the viral load in the sewers occur before the containment measures. In fact, this suggests that there are factors that initiate the end of the epidemic peak independently of the containment measure. These factors will therefore need to be explored more deeply in the future.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - 4:18:29 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, August 1, 2021 - 3:31:53 AM

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Nathalie Wurtz, Alexandre Lacoste, Priscilla Jardot, Alain Delache, Xavier Fontaine, et al.. Viral RNA in City Wastewater as a Key Indicator of COVID-19 Recrudescence and Containment Measures Effectiveness. Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media, 2021, 12, ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2021.664477⟩. ⟨hal-03305053⟩

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