The role of wastewater-based epidemiology in fighting against viral diseases

    This eBook explores and discusses the benefits of wastewater epidemiology for mapping and forecasting outbreaks of viral diseases.

    Traditionally wastewater has not been extensively utilised as a disease surveillance tool, but research has suggested that using wastewater to monitor COVID-19 provides various advantages over other techniques, such as clinical testing, and consequently, the use of wastewater-based epidemiology is on the rise.

    Associate Professor Masaaki Kitajima and his team at Hokkaido University’s Division of Environmental Engineering have been working together to create wastewater-based technology which can be used to understand the prevalence of COVID-19 with less cost and without stigma.

    The researchers are collaborating with Shionogi, a pharmaceutical company in Japan, to build a unique early warning system and mass diagnosis tool, for COVID-19 and other viral diseases, using wastewater-based epidemiology.

    This eBook, produced in partnership with Innovation News Network, focuses on the research of Associate Professor Kitajima and Shionogi and features writing on:

    • COVID-19 and developing an early warning system for future pandemics
    • The rise of wastewater-based epidemiology
    • Collaborative working between academics and industry
    • The ability to detect low levels of the virus in wastewater
    • Societal implementation of wastewater-based epidemiology

    About Hokkaido University

    Hokkaido University is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious universities in Japan. It has campuses in the cities of Sapporo and Hakodate of Hokkaido, with 21 facilities spread throughout Hokkaido and mainland Japan, and aims to contribute towards the resolution of global issues.

    About Associate Professor Kitajima

    Associate Professor Masaaki Kitajima is currently based at the Hokkaido University’s Division of Environmental Engineering and specialises in environmental engineering and virology.

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