Israeli-Dutch Innovation Center

#14 Dutch Israeli Mini-Symposium on Rapid and Accurate Viral Detection and Monitoring in Wastewater (07 Dec)

Objective: exchange experiences on technologies to detect virus substances in wastewater as a diagnostic tool to monitor pandemics.



Any epidemiological indicator has biases and limitations. Diagnostic testing capacity may be insufficient; hospitalizations lag infections by weeks and do not report on people with mild or asymptomatic disease. Experience with other viral diseases has shown that monitoring sewage for traces of a pathogen enables effective surveillance of entire communities, providing a sensitive signal of whether the pathogen is present in the population and whether transmission is increasing or declining. Researchers around the world are now pursuing the same approach for COVID-19 with the belief that wastewater data can supplement current measures of its prevalence. The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has been widely detected in wastewater in the Netherlands[1]. Scientific results of experiments carried out in the Netherlands, in the USA and in Israel (among other countries) strengthen the evidence that wastewater monitoring could be a powerful tool in tracking the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. What challenges have been identified and how can we overcome them from a perspective of innovative technology and policy?


[1] To determine if SARS-CoV-2 RNA was present in sewage during the emergence of COVID-19 in The Netherlands, sewage samples of six cities and the airport were tested using four qRT-PCR assays, three targeting the nucleocapsid gene (N1–N3) and one the envelope gene (E).



16:00-16:05       Welcome note

  • Jasper van Mastrigt, First Secretary Water & Climate, Netherlands Embassy in Israel

16:05-16:20       Applied wastewater surveillance for SARS CoV2 in Israel, Dr. Itay Bar Or, National Center for Environmental Virology - Head, Laboratory of Environmental Virology, Public Health Services, Israel Ministry of Health, Israel

16:20-16:35       Setting up a national sewage surveillance for COVID-19 and beyond, Dr. Ana Maria de Roda Husman, Head of the environmental department, RIVM Laboratories, Bilthoven, The Netherlands

16:40-16:55       SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern detection and quantification in wastewater, Prof. Ariel Kushmaro, Head of Environmental Biotechnology Lab, Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Ben Gurion University, Israel

16:55-17:10       High-resolution monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 circulation through sewage surveillance, Frederic Been, Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE), KWR Water Research Institute (KWR), The Netherlands

17:15-17:30       Protecting public health using wastewater derived data, Anne-li Steutel-Maron, KANDO Environment Services, Israel

17:30-17:45       Mobile microbial water testing: Udetect’s opportunities, Marc van Bemmel, Managing Director, Orvion, The Netherlands

17:45-18:00       Discussion



Get in touch

  • Embassy of the Netherlands in Israel, Economic Department

  • 14 Abba Hillel Street, Ramat Gan 5250607

  • [email protected]