This project was financially supported by project VIR-SCAN – Wastewater monitoring data as an early warning tool to alert COVID-19 in the population (“EOSCsecretariat.eu has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Programme call H2020-INFRAEOSC-05-2018-2019, grant Agreement number 831644.”)
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Project VIR-SCAN – Wastewater Monitoring Data as an Early Warning Tool to alert COVID-19 in the Population
Main aim of the project is to create an early warning tool to alert COVID-19 presence or the virus recurrence in the population. This tool will detect COVID-19 by increasing the concentration of virus gene fragments in wastewater by means of selected sampling points in the sewer system. Data from systematic monitoring of the sewerage network of several Slovak cities will be used as a source of information on the trends of the disease spread over a certain period of time. Data obtained in this project will represent a complementary source of information about the spread of the virus. Thus will be build a more comprehensive picture of the COVID-19 widespread in the population. The 1-year project started in May 2020 and was supported by the EOSCsecretariat.
The uniqueness of our early warning system lies:
- in the speed of possible definition of the COVID-19 outbreak,
- in the possibility to measure trends in COVID-19 disease in the studied population or its return,
- in the possibility to digitally connect several places in the country and create an COVID-19 interactive map offering a real time overview of the COVID-19 widespread.
Our expertise related to COVID-19
Monitoring of wastewater, especially drugs, contrast agents, hormones and their metabolites, toxic metals, resistant microorganisms to ATB and also resistance genes or RNA fragments of viruses – since 2020 focusing on SARS-CoV-2. Effective removal of pathogenes and pollutants from wastewater or drinking water, e.g. by membrane technologies in combination with advanced oxidation techniques.
Our research center focuses on issues related mainly to the monitoring, behavior and impact (especially toxicity) of microplastics and micropollutants (hormones, drugs, medicines, pesticides and their metabolites or degradation products) on various components of the environment. Our research activities are also focused on development of possible technologies capable of effective degrading or removing the given pollution, especially in various types of water (dominantly drinking and wastewater) or environmental loads. An important part of the research in these laboratories are various biological procedures (usability of wood-destroying fungi, aquatic plants or algae),oxidation procedures and their modifications (e.g. Fenton reaction, UV / photolysis, usability of BDD electrodes and ferrates (FeVI) with the possibility of encapsulation), nanotechnology (production and applications of nano and microbots), nanomaterials (based on carbon, metals and silicon) as well as membrane technologies. The above activities are mainly associated with development or testing of new and effective technologies and their combinations with application in the environment but also in nanomedicine.
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