• Project No 2064
  • Project Name ColoSSoS | Method evaluation and optimisation: Investigation of PCR-based methods and feasibility study for whole-genome sequencing
  • Lead Organisation Water Research Australia
  • Research Lead Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Main Researcher Aaron Jex
  • Completion Year 2021

Project Description

The Collaboration on Sewage Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 (ColoSSoS) project combined the expertise of more than 50 Australian organisations in R&D activities that have enabled health departments across the country to integrate quantitative measurements of SARS-CoV-2 virus detected in sewage with human clinical PCR test data for COVID-19. This subproject trialled a series of molecular tests to identify the best laboratory protocols for the reliable retrieval of SARS-CoV-2 virus from sewage samples, extraction of the viral RNA and the amplification of viral sequences that can distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and other closely related types of viruses. Laboratory test control and validation methods were also established. These methods have been implemented in the Victorian state wastewater monitoring programme and are also the foundation for the ongoing development of genome sequencing methods which will be applied to detect and identify emerging variants in the future.