Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Communities Through Wastewater Surveillance-a Potential Approach for Estimation of Disease Burden

Curr Pollut Rep. 2021;7(2):160-166. doi: 10.1007/s40726-021-00178-4. Epub 2021 Apr 6.


The episodic outbreak of COVID-19 due to SARS-CoV-2 is severely affecting the economy, and the global count of infected patients is increasing. The actual number of patients had been underestimated due to limited facilities for testing as well as asymptomatic nature of the expression of COVID-19 on individual basis. Tragically, for emerging economies with high population density, the situation has been more complex due to insufficient testing facilities for diagnosis of the disease. However, the recent reports about persistent shedding of viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in the human feces have created a possibility to track the prevalence and trends of the disease in communities, known as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). In this article, we highlight the current limitations and future prospects for WBE to manage pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19; Developing Countries; Monitoring; Prevalence; SARS-CoV-2; Wastewater surveillance.

Publication types

  • Review