LINK-J & UC San Diego Special Webinar on "Wastewater Monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 at UC San Diego" was held on January 7, 2021. (Host: LINK-J, Co-Host: University of California San Diego [UC San Diego])
LINK-J was pleased to offer a timely special webinar on UC San Diego's wastewater detection of SARS-CoV-2, inviting two researchers who are directly involved in the initiative.
The UC San Diego presentation was followed by a talk by a Japanese researcher who is promoting wastewater epidemiology studies of the virus in Japan.
Miwako Waga, Director of International Outreach, UC San Diego
Akihiko Soyama, President and CEO, LINK-J
Dr. Rob Knight, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) & Pediatrics; Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation, UC San Diego
Dr. Smruthi Karthikeyan, Postdoctoral Researcher, Knight Lab, Pediatrics, UC San Diego
Dr. Hiroyuki Katayama, Professor, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
（片山 浩之先生 東京大学大学院 工学系研究科都市工学専攻 教授）
"Tracking Covid-19 infection dynamics using high-throughput wastewater-based surveillance"
UC San Diego has developed a multifaceted, proactive strategy to detect SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) in their community so that they can reduce transmission of the virus on the campus to the greatest extent possible.
They have the ability to identify the virus through wastewater sampling and testing.
Their experience to date has been that their test is extremely sensitive; a sampler covering several buildings housing a hundred or more people is capable of detecting a single individual shedding virus. This is an important component of our multi-layered strategy that has helped UC San Diego avoid large clusters of infection.
To learn more details, please watch the video recording.
Following the lecture, Prof. Katayama, an expert in urban engineering and wastewater-based epidemiology, gave a presentation.
"Wastewater Epidemiology for Novel Coronavirus in Japan"
Dr. Katayama shared the situation regarding Novel Coronavirus in Japan.
He explained the concept of wastewater-based epidemiology and showed examples of actual applications of the virus detection method to SARS-CoV-2 and challenges.
Then he reported the result of the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in several municipalities in Japan, including Tokyo and showed the usefulness of wastewater epidemiology and believes that wastewater based methods can detect SARS-CoV-2 faster than human cases.
He stated a conclusion that wastewater-based epidemiology is a useful tool to monitor COVID-19 in a community.
Various episodes of hardship were also described. Specifically, there was a barrier of approval from the relevant parties to collect samples in Japan.
At the Panel Discussion, the speakers answered various questions from the audience.
Questions included "Can wastewater surveillance detect the new variant strain of the virus found in the UK?", " What were the major challenges to establish such an efficient team in San Diego, in such a short period of time, and whose leadership was important?" and so on.
Thank you very much for your active participation in the special webinar.