Viruses pose one of the biggest threats to human wellbeing being responsible for numerous infections and millions of deaths worldwide each year. Our understanding of the behaviour of human pathogenic viruses in the environment, however, remains poor. This is limiting our potential to protect human health. In view of this, our project aims to develop new tools for the detection and surveillance of human pathogenic viruses in wastewater, freshwater, estuarine and coastal environments. These tools will enable us to study the origin, diversity and fate of viral populations in both space and time. It will also be useful for measuring infection rates in the community (e.g. COVID-19, Norovirus, Hepatitis A/E). The information gathered in this project will be used to design new guidelines for assessing infection risk (e.g. in recreational waters, beaches & shellfisheries) and for protecting human health. For further information click here or navigate using the tabs above.
The project objectives are to:
- Develop novel methods for the quantification of enteric viruses in environmental matrixes.
- Identify and quantify harmful viruses in catchments, using water, sediment, wastewater and shellfish samples.
- Assess the infectivity of viruses.
- Model viral movement in the riverine and estuarine environments.
- Improve current risk assessment for waterborne viruses.
- Monitor the level of infection in the human population.