Global and genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater

Luz Helena Patiño, Nathalia Ballesteros, Marina Muñoz, Angie Lorena Ramírez, Sergio Castañeda, Luis Alejandro Galeano, Arsenio Hidalgo, Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater has enabled us to better understand the spread and evolution of the virus worldwide. To deepen our understanding of its epidemiological and genomic characteristics, we analyzed 10,147 SARS-CoV-2 sequences from 5 continents and 21 countries that were deposited in the GISAID database up until January 31, 2023. Our results revealed over 100 independent lineages of the virus circulating in water samples from March 2020 to January 2023, including variants of interest and concern. We observed four clearly defined periods of global distribution of these variants over time, with one variant being replaced by another. Interestingly, we found that SARS-CoV-2 water-borne sequences from different countries had a close phylogenetic relationship. Additionally, 40 SARS-CoV-2 water-borne sequences from Europe and the USA did not show any phylogenetic relationship with SARS-CoV-2 human sequences. We also identified a significant number of non-synonymous mutations, some of which were detected in previously reported cryptic lineages. Among the countries analyzed, France and the USA showed the highest degree of sequence diversity, while Austria reported the highest number of genomes (6,296). Our study provides valuable information about the epidemiological and genomic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, which can be employed to support public health initiatives and preparedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27452
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 15 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Global and genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this