Tracking down the virus in the sewers: scientists are mobilizing

The idea had been launched and it continues to gain ground. The traces of COVID-19 are present in the sewers and researchers want to take advantage of it.

Laval, McGill, UQTR and Polytechnique Montréal universities, in particular, as well as the National Center for Electrochemistry and Environmental Technologies (CNETE) in Shawinigan are at the center of a research project that could have significant impacts on environmental policies. public health.

It is the traces of RNA of the virus, present in the wastewater, which will allow scientists to determine the sites of outbreak, explains Jean-François Lemay, researcher in molecular biology at CNETE.

The approach is promising and has just received $ 1 million from the Quebec Research Fund, for a total budget of over $ 1.7 million.

For Nancy Déziel, director general at CNETE, quickly circumscribing the virus in this way will allow a much more targeted approach in terms of screening or containment.

In addition, we can also detect silent cases, underlines the scientist.

The first analyzes will be conducted in Montreal, Laval, Quebec, Shawinigan and in the Bas-Saint-Laurent within ten days.

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