Show us the data: global COVID-19 wastewater monitoring efforts, equity, and gaps

Colleen C. Naughton*, Fernando A. Roman, Ana Grace F. Alvarado, Arianna Q. Tariqi, Matthew A. Deeming, Krystin F. Kadonsky, Kyle Bibby, Aaron Bivins, Gertjan Medema, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
114 Downloads (Pure)


A year since the declaration of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there were over 110 million cases and 2.5 million deaths. Learning from methods to track community spread of other viruses such as poliovirus, environmental virologists and those in the wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) field quickly adapted their existing methods to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater. Unlike COVID-19 case and mortality data, there was not a global dashboard to track wastewater monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA worldwide. This study provides a 1-year review of the “COVIDPoops19” global dashboard of universities, sites, and countries monitoring SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater. Methods to assemble the dashboard combined standard literature review, Google Form submissions, and daily, social media keyword searches. Over 200 universities, 1400 sites, and 55 countries with 59 dashboards monitored wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. However, monitoring was primarily in high-income countries (65%) with less access to this valuable tool in low- and middle-income countries (35%). Data were not widely shared publicly or accessible to researchers to further inform public health actions, perform meta-analysis, better coordinate, and determine equitable distribution of monitoring sites. For WBE to be used to its full potential during COVID-19 and beyond, show us the data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberxtad003
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFEMS Microbes
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • COVIDPoops19 dashboard
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • open data
  • public health
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • wastewater-based epidemiology


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