15 March 2021
Ecologists offer COVID-19 prevalence tests based on wastewater analysis

Patent co-author, Associate Professor Polina Galitskaya elaborates on the technology.

“When we are sick, pathogenic bacteria and viruses are emitted from the body not only through air droplets but also through excrement,” says Galitskaya. “Taking wastewater from collectors, we can use PCR testing to find out whether people in this neighborhood, apartment building, or even riser block, have been sick.”

There are quite a few research groups who currently follow the same path of water epidemiology, i. e. finding pathogens in sewage water. KFU’s patent provides for a relatively cheap and accessible option, so any medical test lab can conduct the work.

“Knowing the number of people utilizing sewage treatment systems in a particular neighborhood or town, we can find out the number of infected individuals with an error spread of just 2 to 4 percent. The data can then be used to determine the necessary containment and lockdown measures,” adds Galitskaya.

The statistics will be used to create interactive maps of green, orange or red zones in a selected region, depending on the prevalence of COVID-19.


Source text and photo: Larisa Busil

Translation: Yury Nurmeev

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