Wastewater-based Epidemiology Special Issue

12 Mar 2019

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been developed and applied for more than a decade. The approach, normalising analyte influent concentration to per capita mass loads or consumption using the daily flow and catchment population, provides population-scale information on human activity within catchment boundaries. This information can facilitate assessments of consumption, use, exposure, or release of chemicals among different population. Assessments of spatial or temporal trends, or response(s) to events within catchments can also be conducted.

WBE has been widely applied to monitor the prevalence of illicit drugs around the world including the first national wastewater drug monitoring program in Australia. Other pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals have also been included to the monitoring suite. In the meantime, WBE is advancing to expand both in terms of specific biomarkers and analytical techniques. Many challenges remains but WBE still could be explored to reach its full potential as a complementary monitoring tool for epidemiological studies in human health including pathogen and health indicator monitoring as well as stress, food and diet markers.

This Special Issue seeks research papers on various aspects of WBE, from the application of the approach in new area with special demographic to explorative studies to advance the science of the field. We encourage the submission of interdisciplinary work and collaborative research on identify new biomarkers for WBE and triangulate WBE data with other data sources. We also encourage the submission of manuscripts that focus on addressing the uncertainties of WBE, namely population estimates, excretion factors of drugs, and stability of markers in the sewer systems. We welcome both original research papers as well as systematic reviews.

View the Special Issue here.