According to a report, German scientists are working on a terrible way to detect new waves of the coronavirus by testing human feces for virus residues in the sewage system.
The Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research conducts a sampling experiment from plants that serves some of the largest urban areas to detect evidence of the insect. CNN reported.
Sewage facilities will detect spikes of virus spikes and allow health authorities to take rapid action to test the area in question.
“It would be the first test line,” said CNN, one of the leaders of the study, microbiologist Hauke Harms.
“You’ll start with our measurement and then you will know where to go to look for the causes.
Normally a hospital or I don’t know, a factory with an epidemic. And then he will have to test the human. ”
The ultimate goal is that almost all sewage facilities install such early warning systems to monitor the spread of the deadly disease.
Sewage facilities around the eastern city of Leipzig are among the participants of the study.
“If it was possible to have an idea of the coronavirus concentration in wastewater, we could calculate the number of infected people in Leipzig and it would be very interesting in their coronavirus strategies,” said Ulrich Meyer, technical director of Leipzig’s waterworks. said CNN.
Helmholtz researchers admit that it is not a small task to find a small amount of genetic material in the sewage from the virus.
“There are high, high amounts of wastewater and traces of the virus in wastewater is a difficult task,” said virologist Rene Kallies. “So we have liters and we have to shrink microliters to get a sufficient amount for RNA extraction, and that’s the problem.”
The low number of new infections in Germany is also difficult because a single infected person can skew the test results.
“You may have heard of these super emitters and there are also super shooters,” said Harms. “People who secrete more viruses than others, and of course, this gives you a false idea of the number of infected people.”
It is not only German scientists who work to use sewage as an alarm system.
In February, researchers at the Netherlands KWR Water Research Institute found the virus at six sewage facilities in the country.
The institute said it has developed a method to monitor the presence of the virus in the sewer.
“Testing in sewers can give an early indication of contamination across the entire population, as the test of individuals requires individual tests,” KWR said on the KWR website.
German researchers say they are confident that the system will be operational in the second half of 2020, but they still admit that there is confusion that needs to be resolved.
“I think we can suggest something before the next wave. So if the next wave comes in autumn or early winter, then we should have something, ”Harms said.