Wastewater-based Surveillance

Official Position Statement Approved by WEF

Date of Approval: May 5, 2022

Expiration Date: May 5, 2022

As infectious disease outbreaks continue to occur across the world at an accelerated pace due to the impact of globalization, organizations like the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, and the United States Agency for International Development have supported the need for adaptive, population health surveillance systems. Wastewater-based epidemiology, or wastewater-based surveillance (WBS), offers one such infection monitoring and trending tool. WBS is the systematic testing, analysis, and interpretation of these wastewater data to inform public health practice and potentially develop early warning systems to reduce the impact and costs of outbreaks. Infectious agents, pharmaceuticals, biomarkers, and metabolites shed in feces, urine, sweat, saliva, or other bodily excretions that end up in sanitary wastewater can provide a snapshot of the status of population health in communities served by collection systems. Emerging infectious disease (such as Candida auris), endemic pathogens (such as foodborne bacteria like Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli), and antibiotic resistance genes can all be tracked through the monitoring of untreated, sanitary wastewater.

READ WEF'S POSITION STATEMENT ON WASTEWATER BASED SURVEILLANCE

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