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PhD Defense

Dissertation Defense "Wastewater-based surveillance: Examining the decay and partition of viral markers in wastewater" by Laura Roldan Hernandez

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Event Details:

Wastewater-based surveillance (WBS), also known as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE), has become a valuable tool for monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and other viral infectious diseases. While WBS has been widely adopted in recent years, there is still limited understanding of how viral genetic markers (RNA/DNA) behave in wastewater and primary sludge samples. The research described in this presentation focuses on examining the decay and fate of viral markers associated with respiratory, enteric, and mosquito-borne viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Rhinovirus (RV), Influenza A, Hepatitis A, West Nile, Zika, and Dengue.

Understanding the decay and solid-liquid partitioning behavior of viral markers is essential to improve how wastewater samples are collected and processed, particularly in areas with low levels of infections. In addition, results from these experiments could help inform mathematical models aiming to estimate the number of community infections using wastewater-based surveillance data.  

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