Infectious viral diseases are one of the leading causes of human deaths worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has unequivocally demonstrated the need of new tools to anticipate viral presence and transmission before it spreads through communities. Wastewater surveillance has been efficient to indicate viral presence and penetration in the community, as demonstrated by early work from our group and peers.
Our goal is to develop early-warning systems for monitoring the emergence and spread of viral diseases in the population. By integrating wastewater surveillance, molecular biology, mathematical modeling, and genomic sequencing approaches, our research aims to:
1) Create novel tools for monitoring pathogenic agents in community wastewater, capturing infection trends at different locations and time points.
2) Quantitatively understand and predict viral transmission dynamics and the progression of outbreaks.
3) Track the evolution of genomic variants emerging in the population.