Review and Meta-Analysis: SARS-CoV-2 and Enveloped Virus Detection in Feces and Wastewater

Charlotte Twigg, Jannis Wenk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


Detection and quantification of viruses supplies key information on their spread and allows risk assessment for public health. In wastewater, existing detection methods have been focusing on non-enveloped enteric viruses due to enveloped virus transmission, such as coronaviruses, by the fecal-oral route being less likely. Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, interest and importance of enveloped virus detection in wastewater has increased. Here, quantitative studies on SARS-CoV-2 occurrence in feces and raw wastewater and other enveloped viruses via quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) during the early stage of the pandemic until April 2021 are reviewed, including statistical evaluation of the positive detection rate and efficiency throughout the detection process involving concentration, extraction, and amplification stages. Optimized and aligned sampling protocols and concentration methods for enveloped viruses, along with SARS-CoV-2 surrogates, in wastewater environments may improve low and variable recovery rates providing increased detection efficiency and comparable data on viral load measured across different studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalChemBioEng Reviews
Issue number2
Early online date3 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virus transmission
  • Wastewater-based epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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