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Pandemic Preparedness Capabilities

SEEC: Swedish Environmental Epidemiology Center

Funding given for project project entitled:

Establishment of the Swedish Environmental Epidemiology Center (SEEC)

PI(s)/Head responsible for the resource:

Anna J. Székely

Host organisation(s):

  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU (Wastewater, Water, Surface, Air & Viability testing). Maja Malmberg, Anna J. Székely, Klas Udekwu.
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Wastewater & Sludge): Zeynep Çetecioğlu Gürol.
  • Karolinska Institute (Air & Viability testing): Antonio Gigliotti Rothfuchs.
  • Uppsala University (Statistical modelling): Stefan Engblom.

Resource description:

SEEC is a national capacity-building center that bridges the current gap between epidemiology and environmental assessment. It provides for rapid and effective response to detected pathogens as well as population level epidemiology. SEEC also stands for the standardization of molecular and experimental methods for continuous assessment of known and emerging pathogens of concern in Sweden.

Our aim is to provide:

  • Continued and extended wastewater-based monitoring of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Pathogen profiling of the built environment and expanded sampling capacity.
  • Help for infection transmission risk assessment in public places.
  • An accessible repository of environmental samples of public health relevance.
  • Capacity for environmental epidemiology research and development.
How this resource can be used for Pandemic Preparedness research:

SEEC provides weekly data on Wastewater-based Epidemiology: SEEC actively monitors wastewater levels of the virus responsible for Covid-19 disease, SARS-CoV-2, in various municipalities of Sweden, covering more than 25% of the population. This data is continuously updated and freely accessible on the Swedish Pathogens Portal.

SEEC offers analysis of diverse environmental samples (e.g., water including wastewater, surface samples, air samples), for presence of pathogens, using both targeted approaches such as qPCR or amplicon sequencing as well as unbiased metagenomics approaches.

Built Environment Epidemiology: SEEC is involved in the worldwide analysis and profiling of built environment surfaces and air, with intermittent sampling of air in clinics, schools, subways, and indoor malls. Through an extensive network, datasets, sampling methods and analysis pipelines are readily available for comparative studies of environmental signals.

SEEC also offers support in experimental design, sampling, logistics, storage and other monitoring relevant processes.

Who is able to access the resource (and under what conditions):

Data (relative virus quantity) is weekly uploaded by Zeynep Cetecioglu Gurol (KTH) and Anna Székely (SLU). Uploaded data can be openly accessed by the general public. Capacities of the resource are available to researchers upon request.

Available data, code, and protocols from the resource:

Dashboard: The amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater across Sweden

Contact information:

Anna J. Székely