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Making Waves: Coronavirus detection, presence and persistence in the water environment: State of the art and knowledge needs for public health

Carducci, A; Federigi, I; Liu, D; Thompson, JR; Verani, M; (2020) Making Waves: Coronavirus detection, presence and persistence in the water environment: State of the art and knowledge needs for public health. Water Research , 179 , Article 115907. 10.1016/j.watres.2020.115907. Green open access

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Abstract

The main route of transmission of the human coronaviruses (HCoVs), and presumably also of the new pandemic SARS-CoV-2, is via droplets and close contacts, however their fecal elimination also suggests the possible spread via water. A scientific literature search was thus carried out to highlight the current state of the art and knowledge gaps regarding coronavirus in water. Since 1978 only 22 studies have met the inclusion criteria, and considered heterogeneous purposes, detection methods and types of water. In vitro experiments have addressed the recovery efficiency of analytical methods, survival in different types of water and the removal efficiency of water treatments. Field studies have monitored coronaviruses in surface waters, sewage, slurry, and biosolids. Overall, at the lab scale, HCoVs or surrogates can survive for several days at 4 °C, however their persistence is lower compared with non-enveloped viruses and is strongly influenced by temperature and organic or microbial pollution. HCoVs have rarely been detected in field investigations, however may be due to the low recovery efficiency of the analytical methods. The scarcity of information on HCoV in the environment suggests that research is needed to understand the fate of these viruses in the water cycle.

Type: Article
Title: Making Waves: Coronavirus detection, presence and persistence in the water environment: State of the art and knowledge needs for public health
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.115907
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.115907
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus, Water, Wastewater, Survival, Recovery efficiency
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106497
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