- This event has passed.
Seminar: Rachel Noble – UNC IMS
April 21, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
UNC-CH’s Department of Marine Sciences is proud to host a guest seminar by Rachel Noble. This event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21st, at 12:30 pm. This seminar is remote only and will be broadcast live online via Zoom (Meeting ID: 934-0604-8353).
Presenter Affiliation: Mary and Watts Hill Jr. Distinguished Professor, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title: Thinking about wastewater surveillance and molecular tools for the future
Abstract: Estimates of COVID-19 prevalence and community disease transmission for SARS-like viruses in the 21st century have been dominated by the use of epidemiological models. Certain approaches have been used widely for epidemiological modeling of metapopulations, and are excellent base models, because one can vary the parameters across the example population and evaluate a range of different scenarios through simulation. However, as most know, COVID-19 has posed a serious problem with development of accurate models because most of the initial work was conducted only in metropolitan areas. Furthermore, it is currently known that clinical case counts of COVID-19 globally and across the US are inaccurate representations of the total numbers of infected individuals, because of a high proportion of mildly ill and asymptomatic individuals illustrating the need for approaches that could offer an integrated view of community transmission, which is where the research community that utilizes wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has emerged. It is known that SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA has been detected in stool samples from confirmed COVID-19 cases, and that it can be successfully used across WWTPs to assess community disease emerging and prevalence of transmission (Bivins et al 2020). As part of State appropriated COVID-19 response funding, we developed collaborative, interdisciplinary team to develop the capacity and standardized approaches to quantify SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA across 20+ rural and urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in North Carolina. Collection of data on the emergence, concentrations, and peaks and disappearances of SARS-CoV-2 have provided an objective means to monitor the circulation of disease across communities and serve as a tool to assess resurgence and decline over the longer term. These approaches have become the keystone of new projects with the CDC and NIH. An overview of the projects, key outcomes, and collaborative partnerships will be discussed.