Grant advances COVID-19 wastewater research at MSU

Jul 14, 2021

WEDNESDAY, July 14 — Nearly $6 million in grant funding awarded this week will allow researchers at Michigan State University to ramp up wastewater surveillance for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease that is shed in feces in public sewers.

The funding is part of a $49 million grant supporting 19 projects from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to continue wastewater surveillance statewide, which can provide useful information regarding disease detection and community spread, university officials announced this week. This can be especially useful as clinical testing rates decrease.

Joan Rose’s Water Quality and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory and Irene Xagoraraki’s Environmental Virology Laboratory each received funding. Rose’s lab will receive $3.2 million and serve as the lead laboratory. Xagoraraki’s lab will receive $2.7 million, officials announced.

"We are going to use wastewater surveillance as a way to examine the disease spread and improve communications, access to testing and vaccinations, and return the campus to a vibrant, interactive place to learn,” Rose said in a statement. “This will be particularly important in the fall when we come back to campus due to the seasonal nature of the virus."

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