Challenges and emerging perspectives of an international SARS-CoV-2 epidemiological surveillance in wastewater
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SARS-CoV-2 is a new type of coronavirus capable to infect humans and cause the severe acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19, a disease that has been causing huge impacts across the Earth. COVID-19 patients, including mild, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, were often seen to contain infectious fragments of SARSCoV-2 in feces and urine samples. Therefore, studies to detect the new coronavirus in wastewater, which collect and concentrate human excreta, have been extremely useful as a viral tracking tool in communities. This type of monitoring, in addition to serve as a non-invasive early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks, would provide better predictions about the SARS-CoV-2 spread and strongly contribute to maintenance the global health. Although current methods to detect viruses in wastewater, based on molecular RT-PCR and RT-qPCR techniques, were considered as reliable and provided accurate qualitative and quantitative results, they have been facing considerable challenges concerning the SARS-CoV-2 surveillance. In this review, the methods used to detect the SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater and the challenges to implement an international viral monitoring network were described. The article also addressed the emerging perspectives associated with the SARS-CoV-2 epidemiological surveillance in this environment and the importance of a worldwide collaboration to generate and disseminate the detection results.