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Scanning the Sewage for virus and other transmissible Pathogens.



The idea (See-V) is based on emerging scientific reports on using sewage to detect corona virus. The following scientific rationale as elucidated in the back ground. Form the crux of the idea. 

Background: #1 Scientists were able to detect a gene fragment of the novel coronavirus in untreated sewage from two wastewater treatment plants. Used on a wider scale, sewage sampling would be able to detect the approximate number of people infected in a geographic area without testing every individual, the CSIRO said. Officials are currently testing thousands of Australians daily using conventional tests. Sewage surveillance is already used in Israel to monitor circulation of poliovirus.

#2 Corona virus could be detected in faeces within three days, quicker than many cases were being detected with conventional tests.(Reference 1) Idea What if we can proactively monitor Sewage in international aeroplanes, airports? Detecting virus from sewage has been reported in USA, Germany, Israel, China, France and Australia till date. So this is a definite possibility. Secondly and importantly automated testing (Nucleic acid) based kits are in the market today which can process multiple samples and give results in a matter of minutes. By combining the strength of automated detection with monitoring of sewage in aeroplanes we would gain important intelligence on potential pandemic viruses /pathogens in ways not possible before. See-V can be deployed in places where there is international traffic like airports, International Events and places where there is high international foot traffic. SEE-V…………seeing virus in sewage By the ability to screen the sewage, we would be able to detect pandemic viruses like corona even when there are asymptomatic patients. Because specific Nucleic acid sequences give information on presence or absence of a given organism…virus in this instance. Sewers offer near–real-time outbreak data, because they constantly collect feces and urine that can contain coronavirus shed by infected humans. (Once excreted from the body, the virus degrades quickly, although scientists have found limited instances of infectious virus in fecal matter.) Polymerase chain reaction testing identifies fragments of RNA from SARSCoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Higher concentrations of virus in the wastewater corresponds to higher numbers of infected people who contribute to the sewer system. This visibility is also going to help us predict a second wave of outbreaks,” says Sébastien Wurtzer, a virologist at Eau de Paris.


Who will take these actions?

 As evident from researches in multiple countries, detecting virus in sewage is a possibility. However the novelty of SEE-v comes from application setting i.e aeroplanes, air ports which would necessarily be the hot spots for the spread of Pandemics. Interestingly while the countries are developing technologies on their own turf, there has not been an attempt to apply it in the context of real pandemic hot spots like aeroplanes and air ports. Through this submission (See-V), I propose to monitor aeroplane sewage which would be an early sigh of pending pandemic. Nucleic acid based detection can be leveraged for a host of contagious viruses and bacteria and can be automated. Hence this system can be installed for active detection of the sewage collected in the plane even before it lands in airport. Any positive detection would immediately help contain the situation in a remarkably effective way

I propose to leverage existing nucleic acid based  kits for detection of viral and bacterial pathogens. Multiplex reactions will be optimized to detect pathogens in mega pools and mini pools form the samples contained in sewage. Challenge studies will be performed to ascertain the limit of detection., specificity and accuracy

In tandem a software will be developed for population of data obtained from multiple international air ports in real time basis. The Artificial intelligence algorithim will fish for any information of interest  and sound alarm for possible containment.


What are the projected costs?


The projected cost for development and prototype of the system and software is expected to cost 93,000 USD

Identification of Sewage sample collection points in a model air port - 3000$

R&D trials and optimization                                                                - 15,000$

Software development                                                                        - 25,000$

External Validation  (third party) in 3 different labs                              -30,000$

Patent  ,trade marks, registeration                                                      - 20,000$                                                                                                     


Jan 2021- Initiation of development

June 2021-Proof of concept

September 2021-Validation

October 2021- Software development

November 2021-Deployment

About the author(s)

 like to describe myself as a educator and Innovator Some of the accomplishments are outlined below.
Hero X Red palm weevil most promising idea
Hyve MaReK project application for fluorescence marker (2nd place)
Hartmann innovation contest
2013 Nokia Ideas project one of 5 winners(design and develop for planet and people)
• Literacy grand prize winner ,Pearson Foundation
• HEINEKEN’s IdeasBrewery Challenge Best Co-creator
• UNESCO-Nokia literacy project winner
• Rewarded in Myprize contest
• Rewarded in Western Union "world of betters" contest.
• Third prize in i2i contest by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). 2011
• Third prize (, 2010
• Third prize (, 2010
• Rewarded (, 2009
•First prize (, 2008

• Finalist in CISCO I prize, GE ecomagination, Hapinoy Fisherman contest. & Wipro-Wharton contest 2010.Heineken Ideas brewery finalist(2012), Lockheed Martin challenge finalist 2012)

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