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Genome Sequencing Of Coronavirus In Sewage Can Help Detect Local Variants: Study

According to Kara Nelson, University of California (UC)-Berkeley, SARS-CoV-2 virus is excreted by individuals that are infected with COVID-19 and so by sampling wastewater, one can get information on infections for a whole population

Genome Sequencing Of Coronavirus In Sewage Can Help Detect Local Variants: Study
Highlights
  • Genome sequencing of wastewater can help discover COVID variants: Study
  • Sampling wastewater is a very efficient way of detecting COVID: Expert
  • Of everyone who gets tested, only some samples get sequenced: Study

New Delhi: As reports of new strains of the novel coronavirus, including those with more transmissibility, emerge from different parts of the world, a new study says viral genome sequencing of wastewater can help discover variants before they are detected by local clinical tests. According to the research, published in the peer-reviewed journal mBio, the ability to track SARS-CoV-2 mutations in wastewater could be particularly useful for tracking new variants like the B.1.17 strain which is now widespread in the UK and has already been introduced in several countries, including India. “SARS CoV-2 virus is excreted by individuals that are infected by COVID-19 and the fecal waste ends up in the wastewater systems. By sampling wastewater, we can get information on infections for a whole population,” explained study co-author Kara Nelson from the University of California (UC)-Berkeley in the US.

Also Read: UN Agencies Working Closely With India As Country Launches World’s Largest COVID Vaccination Drive

Ms. Nelson believes sampling wastewater is a very efficient and less biased way to get information on the evolution of the virus.

We can get information from all individuals in the sewershed, whether or not they are being tested in a clinic. We know that there are individuals that have asymptomatic infections that may never get tested, She added.

In the current study, Ms. Nelson and her team developed and used a novel method for sampling wastewater. When scientists sequence genetic material concentrated and extracted from wastewater samples, the study noted that there may be many different strains present as there are many individuals contributing to the sample.

However, the scientists said distinguishing the SARS-CoV-2 genetic signal, its RNA, from the billions of bacteria and viruses people excrete every day is a difficult task.

The way that we need to process the sequence information is complex. One contribution of this paper is the ability to prepare samples for sequencing from wastewater, She said.

Instead of directly sequencing everything present, the researchers used a new approach in which they first tried to enrich the viral RNA.

Also Read: Selfie Stand, Music, Magazines: Authorities Deploying Measures To Boost Vaccine Centre Turnout

Then we developed a novel bioinformatic analysis approach which was sensitive enough to detect a single nucleotide difference. You can’t get any more sensitive than that, Ms. Nelson said.

In the study, the scientists sequenced RNA directly from sewage collected by municipal utility districts in the San Francisco Bay Area to generate whole and nearly complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes. They found that the common SARS-CoV-2 genotypes detected in the sewage were identical to clinical genomes from the region.

The researchers also detected variants with very small differences in the genetic material that had only been reported from elsewhere in the US or globally. Based on the study findings, the scientists believe wastewater sequencing can provide evidence for recent introductions of viral lineages before they are detected by local clinical sequencing.

By understanding which strains of SARS-CoV-2 are present in populations over time, they said researchers across the globe can gain insight into whether new variants, such as the one which emerged in the UK, are dominating transmission.

Of everyone who gets tested, only a fraction of those samples even get sequenced. When you are sampling the wastewater, you get a more comprehensive and less biased data on your population, Ms. Nelson said.

According to the researchers, the new approach may provide an earlier signal in the wastewater if a new variant shows up compared to only relying on the sequencing of clinical samples. “Just knowing that SARS-CoV-2 is present in a population is the first step in providing information to help control the spread of the virus, but knowing which variants are present provides additional but very useful information,” Ms. Nelson said.

Also Read: Coronavirus Found In Ice Cream Samples In China, Can The Virus Spread Through Food? Experts Explain

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,50,12,529Cases
20,64,25,824Active
3,36,14,434Recovered
49,72,271Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,50,12,529 and 49,72,271 have died; 20,64,25,824 are active cases and 3,36,14,434 have recovered as on October 28, 2021 at 4:00 am.

India

3,42,31,809 16,156Cases
1,60,9891,672Active
3,36,14,434 17,095Recovered
4,56,386 733Deaths
In India, there are 3,42,31,809 confirmed cases including 4,56,386 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,60,989 and 3,36,14,434 have recovered as on October 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,06,536 1,485

23,096 3,500

64,43,342 4,947

1,40,098 38

Kerala

49,38,603 9,445

77,158 2,100

48,31,468 6,723

29,977 622

Karnataka

29,86,835 282

8,459 80

29,40,339 349

38,037 13

Tamil Nadu

26,98,493 1,075

12,288 252

26,50,145 1,315

36,060 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,64,854 567

4,777 122

20,45,713 437

14,364 8

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,114 13

100 6

16,87,115 7

22,899

West Bengal

15,89,042 976

7,973 124

15,61,973 837

19,096 15

Delhi

14,39,709 38

348 25

14,14,270 13

25,091

Odisha

10,39,818 549

4,392 213

10,27,108 334

8,318 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,926 28

263 14

9,92,088 12

13,575 2

Rajasthan

9,54,411 4

20 0

9,45,437 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,481 17

173 2

8,16,220 15

10,088

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,804 20

108 9

7,82,172 10

10,524 1

Haryana

7,71,204 15

133 5

7,61,022 10

10,049

Bihar

7,26,073 5

41 1

7,16,371 4

9,661

Telangana

6,70,829 186

4,164 63

6,62,714 122

3,951 1

Assam

6,09,506 244

3,838 153

5,99,681 391

5,987 6

Punjab

6,02,289 38

246 20

5,85,487 16

16,556 2

Jharkhand

3,48,705 28

160 30

3,43,408 56

5,137 2

Uttarakhand

3,43,861 17

150 6

3,36,312 23

7,399

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,865 70

838 16

3,26,596 86

4,431

Himachal Pradesh

2,23,406 261

1,972 211

2,17,693 48

3,741 2

Goa

1,77,969 23

454 29

1,74,152 51

3,363 1

Puducherry

1,27,846 40

443 10

1,25,546 50

1,857

Manipur

1,23,473 70

844 29

1,20,712 97

1,917 2

Mizoram

1,19,496 547

7,320 446

1,11,752 991

424 2

Tripura

84,438 15

123 1

83,499 14

816

Meghalaya

83,466 51

507 22

81,511 71

1,448 2

Chandigarh

65,331 5

29 2

64,482 3

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,120 6

115 22

54,725 28

280

Sikkim

31,925 13

177 1

31,353 12

395

Nagaland

31,759 12

222 3

30,856 15

681

Ladakh

20,925 8

47 6

20,670 2

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,682 1

6 0

10,672 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,650 2

5 1

7,516 1

129

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