The Innovative Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Approach with the Advances of High Resolution Mass Spectrometry as a Complemetary Biomonitoring Tool for Assessing the Health Status of a Population

Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) is proposed as an alternative “biomonitoring tool” for the retrieval of epidemiological information from wastewater through the analysis of specific human urinary biomarkers. This epidemiological information relates to the collection of medicinal data which deals with the disruptions, patterns, and determinants of diseases in the population. New methodologies such as the powerful high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) technique open new perspectives in the wastewater-based epidemiology field. The unique characteristics of HRMS combined with the potential of the WBE approach can give us the capability to provide valuable information for public health. Indeed, influent wastewater contains a wide range of chemical information about the biological processes of the human body, which can be explored by the latest advances of HRMS and can provide crucial data. The main objective of this project is to develop non-target screening analytical methods based on HRMS, coupled with liquid and gas chromatography to detect new wastewater biomarkers and assess the collective consumption or exposure to toxicants. This can establish and implement an integrated chemical analytical-epidemiological approach for the acquirement of crucial information and help inform authorities and public health organizations on community health status.

Research Outputs

Rousis, N.I., Li, Z., Bade, R., McLachlan, M.S., Mueller, J.F., O'Brien, J.W., Samanipour, S., Tscharke, B.J., Thomaidis, N.S. and Thomas, K.V., 2022. Socioeconomic status and public health in Australia: A wastewater-based study. Environment International167, p.107436.

Dewapriya, P., Rousis, N., Rauert, C., Thomaidis, N.S. and Thomas, K.V., 2023. High-Resolution Mass Spectrometric Profiling of Stormwater in an Australian Creek. ACS ES&T Water.


Project members

Prof Kevin Thomas

QAEHS Director
and Theme Leader, Environmental Health Toxicology