Wastewater-based proteomics: A proof-of-concept for advancing early warning system for infectious diseases and immune response monitoring

Kishore Kumar Jagadeesan, Harry Elliss, Richard Standerwick, Megan Robertson, Ruth Barden, Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this proof-of-concept study, a new mass spectrometry-based framework was introduced for concurrent tracking of infectious disease prevalence and community responses. The study focused on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 as the test pathogen and C-reactive protein (CRP) as the representative acute phase response protein. Through mass spectrometry (MS), the research provided preliminary insights into the prevalence of the virus and community acute immune responses, suggesting its strong potential as an early warning system. The high specificity and sensitivity of MS, combined with wastewater-based epidemiology's ability to provide a population-level perspective on virus prevalence, make it a valuable tool for public health surveillance. The study's findings demonstrate the utility of targeted proteomics technology in detecting specific protein biomarkers associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and inflammation in complex wastewater samples. This approach has advantages over traditional RNA-based methods, including the ability to simultaneously detect acute-phase response proteins such as CRP. The study lays the foundation for future research towards refining analytical techniques to extract more precise data from complex matrices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100108
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials Letters
Early online date5 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2024

Data Availability Statement

All data is in the manuscript.


  • Biomolecules
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteins
  • Proteomics
  • Public health
  • Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE)
  • Water fingerprinting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Wastewater-based proteomics: A proof-of-concept for advancing early warning system for infectious diseases and immune response monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this