Monitoring Genetic Population Biomarkers for Wastewater-Based Epidemiology

Zhugen Yang, Gaolian Xu, Julien Reboud, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Jonathan M. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (SciVal)


We report a rapid "sample-to-answer" platform that can be used for the quantitative monitoring of genetic biomarkers within communities through the analysis of wastewater. The assay is based on the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) of nucleic acid biomarkers and shows for the first time the ability to rapidly quantify human-specific mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from raw untreated wastewater samples. mtDNA provides a model population biomarker associated with carcinogenesis including breast, renal and gastric cancers. To enable a sample-to-answer, field-based technology, we integrated a filter to remove solid impurities and perform DNA extraction and enrichment into a low cost lateral flow-based test. We demonstrated mtDNA detection over seven consecutive days, achieving a limit of detection of 40 copies of human genomic DNA per reaction volume. The assay can be performed at the site of sample collection, with minimal user intervention, yielding results within 45 min and providing a method to monitor public health from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9941-9945
Number of pages5
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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