Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, using four RT-qPCR assays

Yannan Huang, Lindsay Johnston, Ana Parra, Crystal Sweeney, Emalie Hayes, Lisbeth Truelstrup Hansen, Graham Gagnon, Amina Stoddart, Rob Jamieson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Wastewater-based surveillance methods have been implemented in several countries as a tool for monitoring SARS-CoV-2 at a community scale. A variety of methods have been used for concentrating, extracting, and detecting the virus, with no clear consensus on the most effective approach. In this note, we report preliminary findings from a study that is tracking SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a specific focus on the use of four reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assays for detecting the virus in wastewater. We were able to detect the virus in wastewater samples during the initial rise of cases in the Halifax region in early November 2020. Levels of the targeted SARS-CoV-2 gene fragments increased and fell in response to reported cases of COVID-19. The CDC N1 and E RT-qPCR assays demonstrated greater relative sensitivity than the CDC N2 and N3 assays for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in raw sewage samples.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFacets
Volume6
Pages (from-to)959-965
ISSN2371-1671
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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