Utilization of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance in Africa—a rapid review

Tafadzwa Dzinamarira*, Grant Mureqanhema, Patrick Grad Iradukunda, Roda Madziva, Helena Herrera, Diego Cuadros, Nigel Tungwarara, Itai Chitungo, Godfrey Musuka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Wastewater-based epidemiology for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in wastewater is desirable for understanding COVID-19 in settings where financial resources and diagnostic facilities for mass individual testing are severely limited. We conducted a rapid review to map research evidence on the utilization of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance in Africa. We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, and the World Health Organization library databases for relevant reports, reviews, and primary observational studies. Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Narrative synthesis of the findings from included primary studies revealed the testing methodologies utilized and that detected amount of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA correlated with the number of new cases in the studied areas. The included reviews revealed the epidemiological significance and environmental risks of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater. Wastewater surveillance data at the community level can be leveraged for the rapid assessment of emerging threats and aid pandemic preparedness. Our rapid review revealed a glaring gap in the primary literature on SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance on the continent, and accelerated and adequate investment into research is urgently needed to address this gap.
Original languageEnglish
Article number969
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • wastewater
  • surveillance
  • Africa


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