Establishment of a permanent wastewater surveillance system for key viral pathogens of concern in Luxembourg


As part of the CORONASTEP project, LIST has been diligently providing a comprehensive overview of the Covid-19 status of the population of Luxembourg. By monitoring the presence of the coronavirus in the Grand Duchy’s wastewater, the Institute can accurately identify the locations and concentrations of the virus at the sampling points. Despite the relaxation of sanitary measures regarding Covid-19, LIST microbiologists continue to analyse wastewater on a weekly basis to monitor the evolution and spread of the virus throughout the country.

The use of wastewater as a source of information on the overall health status of a community has grown significantly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 health crisis, extending to the monitoring of other pathogens, such as the influenza virus. Wastewater surveillance has emerged as a relevant and complementary method to traditional surveillance, helping to track known pathogens and detect potential new ones.


Continuing the momentum of the CORONASTEP project, LIST aims to establish an active surveillance for viral pathogens of interest in Luxembourg's wastewater. In order to implement such wastewater monitoring systems nationwide, it is crucial to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in line with European recommendations and tailored to the specific expectations of stakeholders in Luxembourg.

The main objective of the SUPERVIR project is thus to set up a long-term active surveillance of Luxembourg's wastewater for viral pathogens of interest and to present the data collected and analysed on a digital platform for relevant and reliable communication.

Extensive groundwork is required to ensure that the platform is ready for use and to guarantee the reliability and accuracy of all data transmitted. The first step is a careful selection of wastewater treatment plants and other sampling points, such as airport and campus sewers. This selection is based on a thorough analysis of the data gathered during the CORONASTEP project as well as its epidemiological relevance and suitability for long-term monitoring.

In addition, LIST’s extensive expertise will enable the development of new SOPs for the wastewater surveillance network. These SOPs, which will follow European standards, will also be customized to meet the specific requirements of Luxembourg stakeholders, and enriched with insights gleaned from past experience.


The key deliverable of the SUPERVIR project will be the development of an online platform with a dashboard presenting wastewater surveillance data in Luxembourg. This first-of-its-kind communication tool will replace the current manual reporting methods and facilitate the seamless sharing of wastewater monitoring data at both national and European levels. Overall, this innovative dashboard will not only facilitate the dissemination of data on the monitoring of Luxembourg's wastewater for viral pathogens of interest but will also be compatible with the EU digital exchange platform.


Research domains
  • Environment

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Dr Henry-Michel CAUCHIE
Dr Henry-Michel CAUCHIE
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