LMU Klinikum
Center for International Health CIHLMU
CIHLMU is a center at LMU Klinikum

SARS CoV2 RNA from municipal waste water in Ethiopia

This 2020 CIHLMU Network Funds Project led by Dr. Solomon Ali Mohammed on COVID-19 and wastewater in Ethiopia is a collaborative project between St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC) located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Jimma University located in Jimma, Ethiopia; and the LMU Hospital, Munich.

Project aim:

The project aimed to monitor COVID-19 viral RNA from wastewater as an attempt to understand and predict the epidemiology of COVID-19 in resource-limited settings in Ethiopia.

To achieve this goal, all wastewater processing plants in Addis Ababa (12 Membrane bioreactors and two sewage lines), as well as wastewater ponds in selected regional cities, were included in this study. A total of 158 wastewater samples consisting of 126 samples was collected from the 14 wastewater processing plants in Addis Ababa at nine weekly points and four cross-sectional samples from the wastewater ponds in four regional cities in Ethiopia (Jimma, Adama, Hawassa and Arbaminch) were collected and stored in a -80°C freezer for subsequent COVID-19 virus RNA analysis. Additionally, a total of 51 gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria were isolated from Addis Ababa and stored for identification and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) testing. The sequence of the SARS CoV2 RNA previously collected by the Ethiopian National Animal Health Diagnostic & Investigation Centre (NAHDIC) from the general public will be then compared to the SARS CoV2 RNA of this project.

This project created an excellent local collaboration network for clinical researchers engaged in different human health researches at the SPHMMC and Jimma University to work with veterinarians from the NAHDIC and the Ethiopian National Veterinary Institute (NVI). Furthermore, the project supported the capacity building activities of SPHMMC through technical training and support. This network is a vital asset for future One Health relevant multidisciplinary research collaborations, working together in areas of zoonotic viral diseases and bacteria AMR in the human, animal and environment interface in Ethiopia.