For their study, the investigators, who are also members of UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, evaluated population normalization factors, which are used to determine the relative human fecal contribution in a sample. With this information, scientists can control for fluctuations in the population contributing to a wastewater sample throughout time while quantifying the SARS-CoV-2 wastewater concentrations.
University of Florida researchers are refining wastewater surveillance techniques—a public health tool dating to the 1940s—to monitor cities, neighborhoods, and individual buildings for traces of COVID-19, fentanyl, and pesticides.
UF researchers track COVID-19 trends in an island community’s wastewater. The approach has broad implications as a public health surveillance tool.