Several academic, industry and public health laboratories successfully implemented wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to track community-wide infection trends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital PCR (dPCR) technologies offer ultra-sensitive detection and resistance to inhibitors commonly present in concentrated wastewater extracts. As such, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strictly endorses dPCR datasets for WBE. The current status of the pandemic seen through the WBE lens, unfortunately, reveals a spike across the United States. Mutational signature dPCR approaches indicate this spike is likely due to the Omicron BA.5 lineage's rapid emergence and spread. 

Further, shedding patterns of human monkeypox virus (hMPXV), a burgeoning, worldwide, and quickly spreading pathogen, reveal a putative WBE candidate. Attendees of this webinar will learn about dPCR approaches to monitor community-wide hMPXV viral loads with a limit of detection of <5000 copies/L starting wastewater. The GT Molecular team offers end-to-end testing service and PCR assay solutions that include Poxvirus matrix recovery control and fecal indicator normalization targets. As such, the scientific community will be poised to provide data that help steer public health decisions surrounding this recent and growing public health threat.

About the speaker
Sarah Kane, Ph.D., Director of R&D
GT Molecular
Sarah Kane received her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Colorado State University. While her doctoral and postdoctoral projects primarily focused on prion diseases, Dr. Kane maintains an interest in various fields spanning immunology, infectious disease and neuroscience. She joined GT Molecular’s growing Research and Development team during the early COVID-19 pandemic to develop PCR assays and validate GT Molecular’s national wastewater testing service. Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Kane has been involved in designing and validating PCR kits capable of detecting and calculating the abundance of SARS-CoV-2 variants from wastewater that represents an average, community-wide sample. Dr. Kane currently serves as Director of R&D, where she oversees projects using GT Molecular’s patent-pending technology around multiplexed digital PCR and NGS assay development for cancer and pathogen detection, both in clinical and WBE settings. Dr. Kane ultimately holds a passion for generating data for action.
Date of recording:Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Duration:60 minutes
Water Testing
Digital PCR