Ceres Nanosciences (Ceres), a privately held company that makes innovative products to improve life science research and diagnostic testing, is announcing the establishment of five new wastewater-based epidemiology centers of excellence at the Houston Health Department, Morgan State University, the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa, and the University of Missouri. The new centers add to the sixteen existing centers of excellence previously announced in April 2022, all of which have been established with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx®) initiative.
These 21 sites encompass testing labs located all across the country, including in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
“These sites have provided wastewater testing services for hundreds of locations and more than 100 million people across more than 50 states and territories in the United States,” said Ben Lepene, Chief Technology Officer at Ceres Nanosciences. “This is truly an amazing national public health infrastructure that Ceres and the NIH have stood up in such a short period of time.”
Each center of excellence received the materials and on-site training to implement an automated Nanotrap® particle protocol, which enables same-day delivery of wastewater testing results for over 100 samples per day. Extracted nucleic acids from this automated protocol are compatible with multiple nucleic acid detection methods, including reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), digital PCR (dPCR), droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), and genomic sequencing.
The sites are regularly sharing results with local and state public health authorities, the CDC National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS), and are presenting them on public-facing dashboards. In addition to reporting on the levels of COVID-19 detected in wastewater samples, many of these sites are monitoring COVID-19 variant groups and emerging pathogens like mpox, influenza, RSV, and enteric viruses such as norovirus.
Learn more here.