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LUX-MICROHUB webinar – Analysing SARS-CoV-2 in sewers: an effective way to monitor epidemiological status of human populations

LUX-MICROHUB webinar – Analysing SARS-CoV-2 in sewers: an effective way to monitor epidemiological status of human populations
2021 05-06

Du à un imprévu de dernière minute, nous nous voyons obligé de reporter le début de notre webinar à 13h30 ce mardi.

La pandémie COVID-19 a mis les réunions virtuelles au centre de la scène. Le département de microbiologie du LNS lance un nouveau forum en ligne, nommé Lux-MicroHub, avec l’objectif de partager avec vous notre savoir et nos connaissances scientifiques autour des dernières nouvelles en microbiologie clinique, et ce sur une base mensuelle.

C’est donc avec grand plaisir que nous vous invitons à participer au 4e webinar Lux-MicroHub, en anglais, qui aura lieu le mardi, 11 mai à 13h30. Pour participer, vous n’avez qu’à vous connecter via le lien Webex suivant: à 13h30.

Analysing SARS-CoV-2 in sewers: an effective way to monitor epidemiological status of human populations

For this new webinar, two researchers from LIST, Dr. Henry-Michel Cauchie and Dr. Leslie Ogorzaly will present their role in monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in sewage.  Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a powerful tool for public health surveillance, as it allows a snapshot of what is circulating in urine and faeces at a community-level. Historically, focusing on enteric viruses because of their faecal shedding and high persistence in the environment, WBEs have been widely used to contribute to broader epidemiological surveillance and infectious disease mitigation efforts, such as the global polio eradication initiative (WHO 2003). The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, however, pushed the boundaries of WBE, tracking the spread of a primarily respiratory enveloped virus in wastewater. The inter-institutional CORONASTEP+ study in Luxembourg showed a very good correlation between wastewater data and human cases. In addition, an increase in the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA could be demonstrated in sewage samples collected several days before detection of COVID-19 by clinical surveillance. Recent data collected indicate that the sewage samples can also used to track the SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern.

After the presentation, we will dedicate time for questions to our invited speakers. If you already have specific questions, feel free to address them to


Dr Henry-Michel Cauchie is Head of the Research Group on Environmental microbiology and Biotechnologies research unit at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). He has a background in Ecology and a large experience in water science and technology. Besides research activities, he is active in teaching at the University of Luxembourg and the University of Liège on ecology and monitoring of environment quality. The focuses of the research group are the environmental monitoring of waterborne pathogens and the development of decontamination technologies.

Dr Leslie OGORZALY is a virologist and holds a PhD in Environment and Health from the University of Lorraine. She is a researcher in the Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology research unit of the LIST, and is interested in the detection of viral particles in water and their infectious nature. For this purpose, she has developed advanced technological tools, combining culture with new molecular tools such as (RT)-qPCR and next generation sequencing. In close collaboration with hydrologists, she analyzes the environmental behavior of viral particles and the associated health risks throughout the water cycle. It is therefore quite natural that she set up the epidemiological monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in Luxembourg’s wastewater, a tool that proved to be very valuable for the management of the health crisis by the authorities.