A NIST-Hosted Virtual Workshop on Measuring SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater and Fecal Material: A Call for Standards
Sandra M. Da Silva, Paulina K. Piotrowski, Christina M. Jones, Stephanie L. Servetas, Nancy J. Lin, Katrice A. Lippa, Scott A. Jackson
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has leveraged its expertise in chemical and biological metrology and standards development as well as its strong relationships with stakeholders to host a virtual workshop on June 16, 2020 that explored the challenges associated with the measurement of SARS-CoV-2 in human stool and wastewater. The workshop was comprised of a diverse range of speakers that represent international experts in gut microbiome therapeutics, clinical diagnostics and wastewater surveillance, together with a general attendance by over 450 U.S. and international participants from 20 countries. Attendees were spread out over academia, commercial industry, local, state and federal government, and non- profit and standards organizations. The main output of the workshop report is summarizing the current needs and possible standards and measurement science solutions that would be applicable to the gut microbiome therapeutics, clinical diagnostics and wastewater surveillance communities. This includes documentation of key insights from workshop presentations, stakeholder needs assessment through a panel Q&A and discussion together with both in-workshop and post-workshop polls, and a plan forward for NIST to develop community-relevant standards. As was requested by the participants, NIST will plan to host a follow up webinar by the end of the calendar year 2020.