Passive Samplers, an Important Tool for Continuous Monitoring of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 May;29(22):32326-32334. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-19073-6. Epub 2022 Feb 9.


The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has resulted in major costs around the world, costs with dimensions in every aspect, from peoples' daily living to the global economy. As the pandemic progresses, the virus evolves, and more vaccines become available, and the 'battle against the virus' continues. As part of the battle, Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) technologies are being widely deployed in essential roles for SARS-CoV-2 detection and monitoring. While focusing on demonstrating the advantages of passive samplers as a tool in WBE, this review provides a holistic view of the current WBE applications in monitoring SARS-CoV-2 with the integration of the most up-to-date data. A novel scenario example based on a recent Nanjing (China) outbreak in July 2021 is used to illustrate the potential benefits of using passive samplers to monitor COVID-19 and to facilitate effective control of future major outbreaks. The presented contents and how the application of passive samplers indicates that this technology can be beneficial at different levels, varying from building to community to regional. Countries and regions that have the pandemic well under control or have low positive case occurrences have the potential to significantly benefit from deploying passive samplers as a measure to identify and suppress outbreaks.

Keywords: COVID-19; Example scenario; Passive sampler; SARS-CoV-2; Wastewater monitoring; Wastewater-based epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Waste Water
  • Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring


  • Waste Water