12 Feb 2021

CIIMAR and Águas do Porto Monitor SARS-COV-2 in urban wastewater

Over the past nine months, CIIMAR-UP and Águas do Porto, EM have been weekly monitoring the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in urban wastewater affluent to Freixo and Sobreiras wastewater treatment plants under the project Virus4Health.


With the main objective of developing a regular monitoring system for SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater affluent to the wastewater treatment plants of Freixo and Sobreiras that allows detecting the circulation of the virus in the community, Virus4Health project responds to a national urgency for integrated SARS-CoV-2 monitoring. Ultimately, the joint work of the CIIMAR-UP team and Águas do Porto, which also has the collaboration of USP - Unidade de Saúde Pública dos ACES Porto Ocidental e Porto Oriental and of Escola Superior de Biotecnologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa, will allow the production of essential data to complement clinical surveillance and support public policies and preventive actions. The project will also be a fundamental tool in verifying the efficiency of treatment processes in the elimination of SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater.


This collaboration project started on May 14, 2020, when Portugal counted between 200-300 positive daily tests for SARS-CoV-2 . By January 31of 2021, about 60 samples were collected weekly at the wastewater treatment plants in Sobreiras and Freixo had already been quantified by qPCR.

To know more about the Virus4Health project, please follow the link.