Making Waves: Collaboration in the time of SARS-CoV-2 - rapid development of an international co-operation and wastewater surveillance database to support public health decision-making

Lian Lundy, Despo Fatta-Kassinos, Jaroslav Slobodnik, Popi Karaolia, Lubos Cirka, Norbert Kreuzinger, Sara Castiglioni, Lubertus Bijlsma, Valeria Dulio, Geneviève Deviller, Foon Yin Lai, Nikiforos Alygizakis, Manuela Barneo, Jose Antonio Baz-Lomba, Frederic Béen, Marianna Cíchová, Kelly Conde-Pérez, Adrian Covaci, Erica Donner, Andrej FicekFrancis Hassard, Annelie Hedström, Félix Hernandez, Veronika Janská, Kristen Jellison, Jan Hofman, Kelly Hill, Pei Ying Hong, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Stoimir Kolarević, Jan Krahulec, Dimitra Lambropoulou, Rosa de Llanos, Tomáš Mackuľak, Lorena Martinez-García, Francisco Martínez, Gertjan Medema, Adrienn Micsinai, Mette Myrmel, Mohammed Nasser, Harald Niederstätter, Leonor Nozal, Herbert Oberacher, Věra Očenášková, Leslie Ogorzaly, Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Beatriz Peinado, Tarja Pitkänen, Margarita Poza, Soraya Rumbo-Feal, Maria Blanca Sánchez, Anna J. Székely, Andrea Soltysova, Nikolaos S. Thomaidis, Juan Vallejo, Alexander van Nuijs, Vassie Ware, Maria Viklander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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The presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater was first reported in March 2020. Over the subsequent months, the potential for wastewater surveillance to contribute to COVID-19 mitigation programmes has been the focus of intense national and international research activities, gaining the attention of policy makers and the public. As a new application of an established methodology, focused collaboration between public health practitioners and wastewater researchers is essential to developing a common understanding on how, when and where the outputs of this non-invasive community-level approach can deliver actionable outcomes for public health authorities. Within this context, the NORMAN SCORE “SARS-CoV-2 in sewage” database provides a platform for rapid, open access data sharing, validated by the uploading of 276 data sets from nine countries to-date. Through offering direct access to underpinning meta-data sets (and describing its use in data interpretation), the NORMAN SCORE database is a resource for the development of recommendations on minimum data requirements for wastewater pathogen surveillance. It is also a tool to engage public health practitioners in discussions on use of the approach, providing an opportunity to build mutual understanding of the demand and supply for data and facilitate the translation of this promising research application into public health practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117167
JournalWater Research
Early online date22 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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