Viruses are linked to a multitude of human illnesses and can disseminate widely in urbanized environments causing global adverse impacts on communities and healthcare infrastructures. Wastewater-based epidemiology was employed using metagenomics and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays to identify enteric and non-enteric viruses collected from a large urban area for potential public health monitoring and outbreak analysis. Untreated wastewater samples were collected from November 2017 to February 2018 (n = 54) to evaluate the diversity of human viral pathogens in collected samples. Viruses were classified into virus types based on primary transmission routes and reviewed against viral associated diseases reported in the catchment area. Metagenomics detected the presence of viral pathogens that cause clinically significant diseases reported within the study area during the sampling year. Detected viruses belong to the Adenoviridae, Astroviridae, Caliciviridae, Coronaviridae, Flaviviridae, Hepeviridae, Herpesviridae, Matonaviridae, Papillomaviridae, Parvoviridae, Picornaviridae, Poxviridae, Retroviridae, and Togaviridae families. Furthermore, concentrations of adenovirus, norovirus GII, sapovirus, hepatitis A virus, human herpesvirus 6, and human herpesvirus 8 were measured in wastewater samples and compared to metagenomic findings to confirm detected viral genus. Hepatitis A virus obtained the greatest average viral load (1.86 × 10 genome copies/L) in wastewater samples compared to other viruses quantified using qPCR with a 100% detection rate in metagenomic samples. Average concentration of sapovirus (1.36 × 10 genome copies/L) was significantly greater than norovirus GII (2.94 × 10 genome copies/L) indicating a higher burden within the study area. Findings obtained from this study aid in evaluating the utility of wastewater-based epidemiology for identification and routine monitoring of various viruses in large communities. This methodology has the potential to improve public health responses to large scale outbreaks and viral pandemics.
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