Persistence of Dengue (Serotypes 2 and 3), Zika, Yellow Fever, and Murine Hepatitis Virus RNA in Untreated Wastewater

Franciscus Chandra, Wei Lin Lee, Federica Armas, Mats Leifels, Xiaoqiong Gu, Hongjie Chen, Stefan Wuertz, Eric J. Alm*, Janelle Thompson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

19 Citations (Scopus)


Arboviruses are viral pathogens transmitted by blood-borne vectors that impose a great social and economic burden globally. Most clinical surveillance of arbovirus outbreaks underestimates the true prevalence as a large proportion of cases exhibit no or only mild clinical symptoms (i.e., are subclinical). Reports of urinary shedding of several arboviruses such as Dengue (DENV), yellow fever (YFV), and Zika (ZIKV) viruses suggest the possibility of utilizing wastewater surveillance to assess the prevalence of arboviral outbreaks. To determine the feasibility of wastewater surveillance, we investigated the decay of representative arboviruses (including DENV-2, DENV-3, YFV, and ZIKV) along with murine hepatitis virus (MHV) as a surrogate for human coronavirus within a wastewater matrix at 6, 25, or 37 °C using RT-qPCR. DENV-2, DENV-3, YFV, ZIKV, and MHV experienced a one log10reduction within 3.95-6.21 days at 25 °C and within 2.60-5.12 days at 37 °C, while incubation at 6 °C did not indicate substantial decay within 21 days. Our work suggests that these arboviruses or their RNA could persist sufficiently in wastewater over a range of temperatures, supporting the potential for wastewater-based surveillance of arboviral outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-791
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Persistence of Dengue (Serotypes 2 and 3), Zika, Yellow Fever, and Murine Hepatitis Virus RNA in Untreated Wastewater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this