Analysis of community wastewater has been shown to be an effective method for tracking the prevalence of SARS-COV-2. Our group has developed techniques for sequencing a portion of the SARS-COV-2 genome to determine what viral viriants are present in wastewater samples. In addition to tracking known lineages, a subset of sewersheds were found to contain viral lineages that are distinct from lineages that have been seen in patients. These novel lineages all have mutations in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Spike protein in positions known to affect viral tropism. Spike proteins generated with these additional mutations were found to have expanded tropism and resistance to some neutralizing antibodies. While the source of these novel lineages is currently not known, it is suspected that they are derived from non-human hosts.
1. What are the different techniques for identifying SARS-COV-2 variants from wastewater.
2. What important SARS-COV-2 properties can be elucidated by analyzing the viral sequence.