Publication date: Sep 21, 2023
Crucial information on the pandemic’s spread has been gathered by monitoring the trend of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. This surveillance has highlighted that the initial concentration is a critical step of the analytical procedure due to the low viral titer that may be present in this matrix. This paper presents the results of the evaluation of two different wastewater concentration protocols to determine the most efficient and cost-effective. The two methods tested were the following: (a) a biphasic separation system with PEG-dextran and (b) a PEG/NaCl precipitation protocol. Other aspects of the detection method were also investigated including the influence of storage temperature on virus recovery and the heat treatment of pasteurization, which aims to make samples safer for operators and the environment. The PEG/NaCl precipitation method was found to perform better than the biphasic separation system, allowing for more sensitive identification of the presence of the virus and the detection of a higher viral titer than that identified with the biphasic separation in all results. Storage of the samples at 4. 3+/-0. 2^0C for up to 3 weeks did not adversely affect the virus titer and the pasteurization pre-treatment increases operator safety and maintains the identification of the viral concentration.
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