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June 18, 2024

Irene Xagoraraki wastewater surveillance featured in "The Conversation"

Research that helps monitor and predict disease outbreaks

The environmental virology lab work being done by Irene Xagoraraki at Michigan State University is currently featured in the national news source, The Conversation. The professor of civil and environmental engineering explores why monitoring local virus levels helps officials make public health decisions.

Irene Xagoraraki in the lab
Irene Xagoraraki has been monitoring virus levels in wastewater in the Detroit area since 2017.

Wastewater surveillance hit the big time during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when officials started using this technique to monitor local virus levels. But my colleagues and I had been exploring wastewater’s promise as a public health tool years before anyone had heard of SARS-CoV-2.

My environmental virology lab based at Michigan State University has been in a partnership with the city of Detroit and the Great Lakes Water Authority since 2017, when we started testing municipal wastewater from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to survey viral diseases in the Greater Detroit community.

Read the entire article on what wastewater surveillance reveals in "The Conversation."