FDA analyzing wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 variants

Jan. 7, 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed a program to sequence SARS-CoV-2 RNA from wastewater samples.

“By monitoring for both known and unknown variants of the virus, labs participating in the program, called GenomeTrakr, are providing information about the evolution of the virus, which is critical to evaluating the effectiveness of FDA-regulated COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.”

The FDA also said the “sequence data are being submitted in real time to public repositories where active monitoring for circulating variants of concern takes place.” Data from the project is available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at GenomeTrakr Umbrella for SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater Data.

“Beyond the COVID-19 application, the project provides the participating laboratories with experience extracting genomic information from wastewater samples and working with a broader network of laboratories in response to a national emergency,” the agency said.

Participating laboratories include:

  • Arizona Department of Health Services with the Translational Genomics Research Institute
  • California Department of Public Health
  • Indiana State Department of Health
  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory
  • Nevada Department of Health and Human Services with the University of Nevada - Reno
  • New Jersey Department of Agriculture
  • New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  • New Mexico State University, Food Safety Laboratory
  • North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Ohio Department of Agriculture
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health with Pennsylvania State University
  • Rhode Island Department of Health
  • South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • South Dakota Department of Health with South Dakota State University
  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Virginia Department of Health
  • Washington State Department of Agriculture
  • Washington State Department of Health Public Health Laboratories
  • West Virginia Department of Agriculture
  • FDA-CFSAN Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory

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