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Domestic wastewater, when collected and evaluated appropriately, can provide valuable health-related information for a community. As a relatively unbiased and non-invasive approach, wastewater surveillance may complement current practices towards mitigating risks and protecting population health. Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, wastewater programs are now widely implemented to monitor viral infection trends in sewersheds and inform public health decision-making. This review summarizes recent developments in wastewater-based epidemiology for detecting and monitoring communicable infectious diseases, dissemination of antimicrobial resistance, and illicit drug consumption. Wastewater surveillance, a quickly advancing Frontier in environmental science, is becoming a new tool to enhance public health, improve disease prevention, and respond to future epidemics and pandemics.


This article was originally published in Frontiers in Chemical Engineering, volume 4, in 2023.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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