A review of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater and airborne particulates and its use for virus spreading surveillance

Uttpal Anand, Bashir Adelodun, Alberto Pivato, S. Suresh, Omkar Indari, Shweta Jakhmola, Hem Chandra Jha, Pawan Kumar Jha, Vijay Tripathi, Francesco Di Maria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


According to the WHO, on October 16, 2020, the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, reached 235 countries and territories, and resulting in more than 39 million confirmed cases and 1.09 million deaths globally. Monitoring of the virus outbreak is one of the main activities pursued to limiting the number of infected people and decreasing the number of deaths that have caused high pressure on the health care, social, and economic systems of different countries. Wastewater based epidemiology (WBE), already adopted for the surveillance of life style and health conditions of communities, shows interesting features for the monitoring of the COVID-19 diffusion. Together with wastewater, the analysis of airborne particles has been recently suggested as another useful tool for detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in given areas. The present review reports the status of research currently performed concerning the monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 spreading by WBE and airborne particles. The former have been more investigated, whereas the latter is still at a very early stage, with a limited number of very recent studies. Nevertheless, the main results highlights in both cases necessitate more research activity for better understating and defining the biomarkers and the related sampling and analysis procedures to be used for this important aim.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110929
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • Airborne particles
  • Biomarkers
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Wastewater
  • Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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