Since COVID-19 pandemic, the suppressed prevalence of Influenza A virus (IAV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was suggested by clinical surveillance; however, it has potential biases in obtaining the overview of infectious diseases in a community. To elucidate the impact of the COVID-19 on the prevalence of the viruses, we quantified IAV and RSV RNA in wastewater collected from three plants in Sapporo, Japan, between October 2018 and January 2023, using highly sensitive EPISENS™ methods. From October 2018 to April 2020, the IAV M gene concentrations were positively correlated with the confirmed cases in the corresponding area (Spearman’s r = 0.61). The IAV subtype-specific HA genes were also detected, showing trends of the concentrations corroborated with the clinically reported cases. RSV A and B serotypes were separately detected in wastewater, and their concentrations were positively correlated with the confirmed cases (Spearman’s r = 0.36–0.52). The detection ratios of IAV and RSV in wastewater decreased from 66.7 % (22/33) and 42.4 % (14/33) to 4.56 % (12/263) and 32.7 % (86/263), respectively, after the COVID-19 prevalence in the city. The present study demonstrates the usefulness of wastewater-based epidemiology combined with the preservation of wastewater (wastewater banking) for better management of respiratory viral diseases.

Fuente: Science of The Total Environment
Available online 8 March 2023, 162694