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Wastewater analysis to study pathogens is the future – Zdrowie Wprost

Wastewater analysis to study pathogens is the future - Zdrowie Wprost

We’ve seen potential for a long time when it comes to wastewater analysis. We note that such research is actually standard in the world. Wastewater analysis for the study of pathogens is the future – said in an interview with PAP, Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Dr. n. med. Andrzej Ossowski.

Possibility to detect an epidemic threat

He explained that the issue was not so much about the presence of the pathogen, but rather about the amount of genetic material that could be translated into the current state of the population. We have modern cities and modern sewage systems. Most of the sewage goes to treatment plants and accumulates – then we can control what happens in the population – the geneticist said.

He noted that such research would allow us to notice alarming phenomena much earlier, such as the presence of pathogens from the group of coronaviruses or influenza. Osovsky said: – We will not wait for patients to appear in hospitals and health centers, but we will monitor what is happening and will be able to detect epidemic threats early.

A new tool to fight pathogens

The geneticist noted that with current technology, such tests are “procedurally uncomplicated” and are also inexpensive. However, thanks to her, it is possible to quickly detect the threat and prepare for it. Who report to diagnostic points because on this basis we do not have a complete picture of what is happening in the community – he explained.

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He stressed that the use of next-generation sequencing allows for “immeasurably greater cognitive capabilities”. – In our opinion, this is a method that will certainly be developed in the coming years and will provide new tools for fighting pathogens – he emphasized.

Osovsky explained that the unit he runs already has the equipment needed for research, and scientists have also introduced procedures for isolating genetic material from such samples — it’s much more complicated than isolating standard materials. Researchers are currently looking for a funding source for the project.

– We have tried such samples and the results are very interesting. We know that such monitoring is already used in some Polish cities. This could be an interesting direction for local authorities and, of course, for us as scientists; The geneticist said our work particularly translates into practice.

Read also:
Polio virus was discovered in sewage water in London. Epidemiologists warn

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