Wastewater monitoring to determine the SARS-CoV-2 infection level of the population: Development of a warning and tracking system for pandemics (Wastewater-CoV-2-Tracking)

The project "Wastewater-CoV-2-Tracking" aims to develop a warning system that can be implemented on a larger scale, providing political decision-makers and responsible authorities with a complementary set of tools for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary objectives are to detect early evidence of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population, if possible before clinical cases become widespread, and to determine the potential diffusion to other parts of the population in local outbreak clusters. For this purpose, experts from the fields of microbiology, virology, engineering, modeling and medicine of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and the Technical University of Dresden will investigate wastewater samples.

Based on this, we will develop a generic, wastewater-based warning and tracking system for the emergence and spread of epidemics. Its establishment should ensure that political and administrative decision-makers are informed at an early stage about locally occurring outbreaks.

Project lead: Dr. René Kallies, rene.kallies@ufz.de

This measure is co-financed with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the members of the Saxon State Parliament.