Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) Research

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and One Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 May 2024 | Viewed by 6803

Special Issue Editors

College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Interests: wastewater-based epidemiology; illicit drugs; emerging contaminants; health risk assessments; biomarkers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Co-Guest Editor
Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Interests: new biomarkers for WBE; new application of WBE; method uncertainties; COVID-19; pathogens
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE), through analysing relevant biomarkers in wastewater, can provide near-real-time information on the level of consumption or exposure of the population living in the target catchment boundaries to a range of chemicals and pathogens. The approach has been developed and applied for more than a decade, starting with the monitoring of illicit drug use around the world. WBE has been adopted by authorities as evidence or a tool for policy makers to formulate drug control strategies.

In recent years, particularly since 2020, WBE has been advancing to expand both in risk assessments of consumption, use, exposure, or release of chemicals and early warning of infectious disease spread and antibiotic resistance to the community level. There have been thousands of WBE studies on COVID-19 monitoring published in the last 2 years. Despite this success, many challenges remain until WBE can reach its full potential as a complementary monitoring tool for epidemiological studies in human health. This Special Issue welcomes both original research papers as well as systematic reviews on various aspects of WBE, from the application of the approach in new area with special demographics to exploratory studies advancing the science of the field. We encourage the submission of interdisciplinary work and collaborative research on identifying new biomarkers for WBE and triangulating WBE data with other data sources. We also encourage the submission of manuscripts that focus on COVID-19 and other pathogens.

Dr. Peng Du
Dr. Phong K. Thai
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • new biomarkers for WBE
  • new applications of WBE
  • early warning of infectious disease
  • monitoring substances of abuse
  • method uncertainties
  • health risk assessments

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 4291 KiB  
Article
Wastewater-Based Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Viruses: Bibliometric Tracking of the Last Decade and Emerging Research Directions
by Hassan Waseem, Rameesha Abid, Jafar Ali, Claire J. Oswald and Kimberley A. Gilbride
Water 2023, 15(19), 3460; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15193460 - 30 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an overwhelming surge in research investigating different aspects of the disease and its causative agent. In this study, we aim to discern research themes and trends in the field of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an overwhelming surge in research investigating different aspects of the disease and its causative agent. In this study, we aim to discern research themes and trends in the field of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses over the past decade. We examined 904 papers in the field authored by researchers from 87 countries. Despite the low reported incidence of COVID-19 in 2023, researchers are still interested in the application of WBE to SARS-CoV-2. Based on network visualization mapping of 189 keyword co-occurrences, method optimization, source, transmission, survival, surveillance or early-warning detection systems, and variants of concern in wastewater were found to be the topics of greatest interest among WBE researchers. A trend toward evaluations of the utility of new technologies such as digital PCR and WBE for other respiratory viruses, particularly influenza, was observed. The USA emerged as the leading country in terms of research publications, citations, and international collaborations. Additionally, Science of the Total Environment stood out as the journal with the highest number of publications and citations. The study highlighted areas for further research, including data normalization and biosensor-based data collection, and emphasized the need for international collaboration and standardized methodology for WBE in future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) Research)
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20 pages, 2034 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater Surveillance in Ten Cities from Mexico
by Astrid Schilmann, Andrés Sánchez-Pájaro, Marbella T. Ovilla-Muñoz, Juan Téllez-Sosa, Sugey Bravo-Romero, Sara Yuvisela Bahena-Reyes, Margarita Lobato, Jesús Martínez-Barnetche, Celia Mercedes Alpuche-Aranda, Héctor Lamadrid-Figueroa and Tonatiuh Barrientos-Gutiérrez
Water 2023, 15(4), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15040799 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2606
Abstract
We aimed to estimate the lead time and infection prevalence from SARS-CoV-2 wastewater (WW) monitoring compared with clinical surveillance data in Mexico to generate evidence about the feasibility of a large-scale WW surveillance system. We selected 10 WW treatment plants (WWTP) and 5 [...] Read more.
We aimed to estimate the lead time and infection prevalence from SARS-CoV-2 wastewater (WW) monitoring compared with clinical surveillance data in Mexico to generate evidence about the feasibility of a large-scale WW surveillance system. We selected 10 WW treatment plants (WWTP) and 5 COVID-19 hospitals in major urban conglomerates in Mexico and collected biweekly 24-h flow-adjusted composite samples during October–November 2020. We concentrated WW samples by polyethylene glycol precipitation and employed quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assays, targeting the nucleoprotein (N1 and N2) genes. We detected and quantified SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 88% and 58% of the raw WW samples from WWTPs and COVID-19 hospitals, respectively. The WW RNA daily loads lead the active cases by more than one month in large and medium WWTP sites. WW estimated that cases were 2 to 20-fold higher than registered active cases. Developing a continuous monitoring surveillance system for SARS-CoV-2 community transmission through WW is feasible, informative, and recognizes three main challenges: (1) WW system data (catchment area, population served), (2) capacity to maintain the cold-chain and process samples, and (3) supplies and personnel to ensure standardized procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) Research)
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Review

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16 pages, 1644 KiB  
Review
Wastewater-Based Epidemiology: Assessing Illicit Drug Usage and Impact through an Innovative Approach
by Rongnan Yi, Taotao Zeng, Junhao Chen, Dongxian Liu, Xiaojing Yang, Mingming Zhao and Zeyan Zhou
Water 2023, 15(23), 4192; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15234192 - 04 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
The abuse of illicit drugs, which is usually associated with violent crimes and public health issues, has evolved into a significant problem that the whole of society must address collectively. With the benefits of high productivity, convenience, objectivity, and semi-real time, wastewater-based epidemiology [...] Read more.
The abuse of illicit drugs, which is usually associated with violent crimes and public health issues, has evolved into a significant problem that the whole of society must address collectively. With the benefits of high productivity, convenience, objectivity, and semi-real time, wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been demonstrated to be a powerful tool and has been utilized on a global scale for monitoring illicit drug use. In this review, we briefly introduce the development and application of WBE. Then, the stability of biomarkers is summarized, and methods to improve stability are introduced. We highlight recent advances in analytical techniques, from three aspects of chromatography–mass spectrometry, optical methods, and electrochemical strategies. The research progress of illicit drug abuse assessment based on WBE is summarized. Finally, we summarize the research hotspots and challenges on illicit drug abuse assessment based on WBE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) Research)
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