Multi-year collaboration utilizes Verily’s Wastewater program to detect the spread of pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 and MPXV
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Verily, an Alphabet precision health technology company, today announced it was selected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to support the agency’s National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS). The CDC launched NWSS in September 2020 to coordinate and build the nation’s capacity to track the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples collected across the country.
Verily’s Wastewater program offers wastewater surveillance to test for pathogens present in wastewater treatment facilities nationwide, allowing for timely detection and monitoring to inform public health actions. Verily laboratories will provide NWSS participating sites with wastewater testing services to track the presence of pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 and MPXV (formerly known as monkeypox virus) in wastewater samples at up to 400 sites across the United States, including US territories and tribal lands. Leveraging Verily’s team of lab technicians, data scientists, and technology experts, the program will generate data that enable national, state, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments to identify outbreaks and better understand disease trends in order to promptly initiate appropriate interventions.
“By testing wastewater samples from just a few hundred wastewater treatment plants, we can gain insights into the health of tens of millions of people and truly begin to understand infectious disease dynamics at scale,” said Bradley White, PhD, Principal Scientist for Verily Wastewater. “We’re excited to support the CDC in their efforts to further understand and detect the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and Mpox, across the country.”
Wastewater data has been instrumental in providing an early warning of emerging public health disease outbreaks and supporting ongoing disease response and preparedness for future public health responses. Verily’s Wastewater program provides a robust measure of community infection trends at the height of surges when clinical testing can have insufficient capacity.
“Supporting the CDC and NWSS significantly extends Verily’s footprint as a leading provider in real-time wastewater surveillance in the U.S. and reinforces our vision of impacting public health worldwide,” said Andrew Trister, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at Verily. “The data provided by our work with the CDC will be transformative for public health interventions that will affect individual care across the US.”
Verily’s Wastewater program has also been used to inform public health measures to understand and detect the spread of infectious diseases through WastewaterSCAN, a Stanford-led initiative with Emory University and Verily to develop and implement wastewater testing methods. The program detected the presence of MPXV in wastewater before Mpox cases were identified through clinical testing. This allowed the California Department of Public Health – in real time – to allocate limited testing, outreach, and vaccine resources to areas where MPXV was detected in wastewater, as described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Verily is an Alphabet health technology company focused on research, care, and health financing to deliver on the promise of precision health and help people live healthier lives. We are uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology, data science, and healthcare to create tools to accelerate evidence generation, products to enable more personalized care, and approaches to make costs more predictable. For more information about Verily please visit verily.com.
About the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS)
CDC’s NWSS is connecting independent, local wastewater surveillance efforts to form a robust, sustainable national system. Through NWSS, health departments and public health laboratories develop their capacity to coordinate wastewater surveillance, including epidemiology, data analytics, and laboratory support. To learn more about NWSS, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/nwss/.
Steven Cooper, Verily
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