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Wastewater’s Hidden Value for Monitoring Public Health

Learn about wastewater-based epidemiology—from its conception to its present state and into its future.






Wastewater contains a trove of public health-related information. While sewage water can help public health officials monitor a pathogen’s spread in real time, the liquid contains molecules that hamper PCR-based detection. To overcome this, scientists developed detection technologies that are less sensitive to PCR inhibitors, such as Droplet Digital PCR, and integrated them into wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to track viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.

Download this ebook from Bio-Rad to discover

  • How scientists initially developed WBE to track polio virus, illicit drug use, and bacterial antibiotic resistance
  • WBE's transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • WBE's potential for population-wide monitoring of multiple pathogens in sewage water