Wastewater-Based Epidemiology to Monitor Infectious Pathogens in the State of Oklahoma

Project: Research project

Project Details


Dr. Stevenson will advise the Oklahoma Water Survey Wastewater Epidemiology team regarding the molecular analyses that are used to monitor sewage for human pathogens. Dr. Stevenson established the analytical lab being used at the University of Oklahoma. Beginning in the summer of 2019, Dr. Stevenson worked with graduate students, staff, and undergraduate researchers to optimize the concentration of viral particles, extraction of nucleic acids, and quantitative PCR (qPCR) or reverse transcriptase qPCR (RT-qPCR) assays to detect and quantify targeted pathogens. Additionally, Dr. Stevenson has adapted library preparation and sequencing of the genomes of SARS-CoV-2 from these same nucleic acid extractions. Analysis of the sequence data allows for the identification and quantification of mutations along the SARS-CoV-2 genome that correspond to different variants of the virus. Dr. Stevenson will assist in interpreting the data generated by the amplification-based assays, including the proper controls that are needed. The molecular analyses can be quite challenging at times, given the nature of the sewage matrix and inhibition downstream of the nucleic acid extraction. Dr. Stevenson will also advise and coordinate with the PI team and technicians in efforts to sequence genome and metagenome targets. He will help analyze the resulting data and report the findings to the team. Dr. Stevenson will participate in data synthesis and the generation of manuscripts that are focused on the work of the team.
Effective start/end date5/26/225/25/23


  • University of Oklahoma (2022-81//Agr 05242022//NU50CK000535)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022-81//Agr 05242022//NU50CK000535)


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