SARS-CoV-2 in river water: Implications in low sanitation countries

Laura Guerrero-Latorre, Isabel Ballesteros, Irina Villacrés-Granda, M. Genoveva Granda, Byron Freire-Paspuel, Blanca Ríos-Touma

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

171 Citas (Scopus)


Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic studies on viral shedding have reported that this virus is excreted in feces in most patients. High viral loads are found at the sewage pipeline or at the entrance of wastewater treatment plants from cities where the number of COVID-19 cases are significant. In Quito (Ecuador) as in many other cities worldwide, wastewater is directly discharged into natural waters. The aim of this study was to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 presence in urban streams from a low sanitation context. Three river locations along the urban rivers of Quito were sampled on the 5th of June during a peak of COVID-19 cases. River samples were evaluated for water quality parameters and afterwards, concentrated for viral analysis using skimmed milk flocculation method. The viral concentrates were quantified for SARS-CoV-2 (N1 and N2 target regions) and Human Adenovirus as a human viral indicator. The results showed that SARS-CoV-2 was detected for both target regions in all samples analyzed in a range of 2,91E+05 to 3,19E+06 GC/L for N1 and from 2,07E+05 to 2,22E+06 GC/L for N2. The high values detected in natural waters from a low sanitation region have several implications in health and ecology that should be further assessed.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo140832
PublicaciónScience of the Total Environment
EstadoPublicada - 15 nov. 2020
Publicado de forma externa


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