Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water


29/10/2021 - 28/10/2023

Assessing the spread of COVID-19 using wastewater epidemiology: typing, community screening, and occupational risk.

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has become a powerful tool to follow the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 community infection. The main goal of EPISARS is to provide new tools on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 with which to deal more effectively with the current COVID-19 pandemic and to be prepared for future threats caused by other viruses with pandemic potential .

The specific objectives of EPISARS are: i) investigate the potential of SARS-CoV-2 WBE applied to buildings as an alternative to individual clinical testing; ii) develop better molecular methodologies to be able to assess the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater; iii) improve public health management tools by assessing occupational risk linked to environmental exposure to SARS-CoV-2; iv) develop easy-to-use genomic sequencing tools for the typing and genetic analysis of Coronaviruses; v) investigate the role of livestock in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or as reservoirs of other coronaviruses; vi) obtain information on the circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 in different areas of Catalonia and population strata (cities, hospitals, homes for the elderly, university residences, schools, slaughterhouses/farms) evaluating potential pathogenesis and evolutionary aspects .

EPISARS will contribute to the control and prevention of the transmission of the coronavirus in the short term, to the identification of emerging strains, to the surveillance of the circulation of the virus and the impact of the vaccine and will develop management tools to be prepared in the face of upcoming epidemics.




Corominas Tabares, Lluís; Borrego Moré, Carles; Sánchez Melsió, Alex; Pico Tomàs, Anna


Corominas Tabares, Lluís