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Dependency of sanitation infrastructure on the discharge of faecal coliform and SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in wastewater from COVID and non-COVID hospitals in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Int Ctr Diarrhoeal Dis Res Bangladesh Icddr B, Infect Dis Div, Dhaka, Bangladesh.;Univ Technol Sydney, Inst Sustainable Futures, 235 Jones St, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia..
Int Ctr Diarrhoeal Dis Res Bangladesh Icddr B, Infect Dis Div, Dhaka, Bangladesh.;Stanford Univ, Sch Med, Stanford, CA USA..
Int Ctr Diarrhoeal Dis Res Bangladesh Icddr B, Infect Dis Div, Dhaka, Bangladesh..
Int Ctr Diarrhoeal Dis Res Bangladesh Icddr B, Infect Dis Div, Dhaka, Bangladesh..
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2023 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 867, article id 161424Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in wastewater can be used as an indicator of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in specific catchment areas. We conducted a hospital-based study to explore wastewater management in healthcare facilities and analyzed SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the hospital wastewater in Dhaka city during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak between September 2020-January 2021. We selected three COVID-hospitals, two non-COVID-hospitals, and one non-COVID-hospital with COVID wards, conducted spot-checks of the sanitation systems (i.e., toilets, drainage, and septic-tank), and collected 90 untreated wastewater effluent samples (68 from COVID and 22 from non-COVID hospitals). E. coli was detected using a membrane filtration technique and reported as colony forming unit (CFU). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected using the iTaq Universal Probes One-Step kit for RT-qPCR amplification of the SARS-CoV-2 ORF1ab and N gene targets and quantified for SARS-CoV-2 genome equivalent copies (GEC) per mL of sample. None of the six hospitals had a primary wastewater treatment facility; two COVID hospitals had functional septic tanks, and the rest of the hospitals had either broken onsite systems or no containment of wastewater. Overall, 100 % of wastewater samples were positive with a high concentration of E.coli (mean = 7.0 log10 CFU/100 mL). Overall, 67 % (60/90) samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The highest SARS-CoV-2 concentrations (median: 141 GEC/mL; range: 13-18,214) were detected in wastewater from COVID-hospitals, and in non-COVID-hospitals, the median SARS-CoV-2 concentration was 108 GEC/mL (range: 30-1829). Our results indicate that high concentrations of E. coli and SARS-CoV-2 were discharged through the hospital wastewa-ter (both COVID and non-COVID) without treatment into the ambient water bodies. Although there is no evidence for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via wastewater, this study highlights the significant risk posed by wastewater from health care facilities in Dhaka for the many other diseases that are spread via faecal oral route. Hospitals in low-income settings could function as sentinel sites to monitor outbreaks through wastewater-based epidemiological surveillance systems. Hospitals should aim to adopt the appropriate wastewater treatment technologies to reduce the discharge of pathogens into the environment and mitigate environmental exposures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier BV , 2023. Vol. 867, article id 161424
Keywords [en]
SARS-CoV-2, Viral RNA, Hospital wastewater, Wastewater-based epidemiology, Hospital sanitation facilities, Faecal contamination, Bangladesh
National Category
Infectious Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-324404DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.161424ISI: 000921746700001PubMedID: 36623655Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85146098901OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-324404DiVA, id: diva2:1740360
Note

QC 20230301

Available from: 2023-03-01 Created: 2023-03-01 Last updated: 2023-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Islam, MD TahmidulBhattacharya, Prosun

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