Surveillance of Emerging Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistances in Aquatic Ecosystems (SARA)




Appropriate methods for wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) and a better understanding of the fate of pathogenic viruses and antibioticresistant bacteria from the sources to river basins and estuaries are urgently required.Ongoing project

Our project will determine the prevalence of pathogenic viruses (including SARS-CoV-2), microbial indicators, antibiotic resistance, and microbial source tracking (MST) markers in wastewater, surface water, coastal sea waters, sediment and bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS) in catchments located in different climate areas (Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Mozambique, and Uganda).

The project aims are: (i) method harmonization and training of European and African partners, (ii) SARS-CoV-2 detection in raw wastewater as a biomarker of COVID-19 cases, (iii) enteric viruses, antibiotic resistances and MST markers monitoring in aquatic environments, (iv) evaluation of sediments and BMS as integral reservoirs, (v) determination of the impact of climate and extreme weather events, and (vi) microbial risk assessment for water resources.

Results and recommendations will be transferred to the scientific community by peer-reviewed papers and conference presentations. International health and environment organisations as well as authorities and waterworks that represent end-users on a global, European and African level will participate in the Stakeholder Forum.

Project partners

  • Andreas Tiehm, DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (TZW), Germany (Coordinator)
  • Edgar Mulogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Uganda
  • Clemencio Nhantumbo, Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU), Moçambique
  • Timothy Vogel, Ecole Centrale de Lyon (ECL), France
  • Abidelfatah Nasser, Ministry of Health (PHLTA), Israel
  • Ricardo Santos, Universidade Lisboa, Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST), Portugal
  • Anicet Blanch, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Spain
  • Magnus Simonsson, European Union Reference Laboratory for Foodborne Viruses, Swedish Food Agency (SFA), Sweden