Viral diversity in wastewater samples from Switzerland (ongoing)

vet.med. Master thesis by Carole Solenthaler

Prior to treatment by purification plants, wastewater contains a wide diversity of viruses and is well suited to monitor enteric viruses of humans. Mainly viruses with high tenacity such as Rotaviruses, Adenoviruses and hepatitis E virus (HEV) can be detected.
The aim of this project is the describe the range of viruses detectable in wastewater (with emphasis on zoonotic viruses such as HEV) from one purification plant near Zürich for one year in correlation to environmental factors such as temperature and rain fall and the total volume of in-flowing wastewater. 
Wastewater samples and meteorological data from the area have been collected monthly from August 2018 to July 2019. After concentrating the viruses by polyethylenglycol precipitation and chloroform separation, the samples are specifically tested for HEV by real-time RT-PCR, and for the whole range of viruses by next generation sequencing (NGS) using our in-house ViroScreen (PDF, 376 KB) protocol.