Wastewater Surveillance for Infectious Disease


What is it?

Testing sewage for viral particles is noninvasive, anonymous, and can inform governments and citizens in the relative rates of viral prevalence over time. Citizens can understand their risk and adapt appropriate behaviors. Local governments can determine the necessity of economically challenging shutdown protocols. Archer strives to perform this service for more quickly and at a lower cost than the services offered by a national competitor. Samples can be shipped to our laboratory in Bozeman, MT.

Cost per sample: $600. These costs are eligible for reimbursement through local government (e.g. county-level) Coronavirus Relief Funding. Our administrative team is dedicated to assisting municipalities by identifying relief funds and providing documentation on our services.

Results within 72 hours – affording communities and health partners critical forewarning of emerging outbreaks.

These services have been performed by the Seth Walk lab at Montana State University. Archer has streamlined and focused on wastewater testing to provide cost savings to communities.

Wastewater surveillance shows changes in viral prevalence that can predict or coincide with confirmed cases over time. Data are from West Yellowstone (top) and Big Sky (bottom), MT. (Data used with permission of the Seth Walk Lab at MSU.)

Wastewater testing can:

-Provide information on the level of community infection for a fraction of the cost of testing the whole community

-Provide longitudinal time data on the progression of an infection in the community and demonstrate changes in virus prevalence to assess efficacy and necessity of policy interventions.

-Provide early indication of infection rates before cases inundate the health care system.

Helpful Links:

Wastewater Data (Gallatin County, MT)

Belgrade added to county’s wastewater surveillance work (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

To Spot Future Coronavirus Flare-Ups, Search the Sewers (Scientific American)

It’s time to begin a national wastewater testing program for Covid-19 (STAT News)