Τwo excellent articles by professor Christos Ouzounis and Dr. Aspasia Chatziefthimiou (pages 4-6, 8).
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"The detection of microbial load in water supply and wastewater treatment systems are constantly evolving processes, necessary for the protection of public health and safety. The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the need to develop effective biomonitoring methods and the need to broaden the targeted detection of a specific microbial spectrum in water, as defined by current safety protocols (ISO / TC 147 / SC 4). Especially during the last year, urban wastewater has been used as a trustworthy indicator of SARS-CoV-2 strains, both nationally and globally (Alygizakis 2021, Peccia 2020).
DNA Sequence takes microbial detection to the next level, adopting state-of-the-art technologies that allow the identification of all known and unknown microorganisms found in water, air or surface samples, as opposed to the routine control that is usually performed. The approach followed, which is based on innovative methods of Metagenomic analysis and bioinformatics data processing, is very fast. This allows microbial monitoring at checkpoints in almost real time, allowing for timely mediation and action if deemed necessary.
The company, in its two years of life, has established commercial and research collaborations in a wide range of activities, such as health, animal husbandry, water quality control, tourism and the food industry, where it implements the novel Biosurveillance
system it offers. Indicatively, DNASequence has collaborated with INTRAKAT AETE where it evaluated the microbial imprint on the ground of the old airport Ellinikon which is currently under urban reconstruction, while it has signed a collaboration agreement with
the company Constrat that operates in the field of water supply - sewerage, for bio-monitoring of selected water supply and biological treatment in Greece. Sampling isperformed in selected boreholes and wastewater treatment plants in order to identify all
microorganisms and the findings are used complementary to the required indicators to ensure water quality and safety. The future goal is to adopt this model systematically and on a large scale, in order to create an integrated control system for timely detection of the
spread of pathogenic microorganisms throughout the water supply chain.
New generation DNA sequencing technologies, one of which is Metagenomics, are the
future of Biosafety and Bio-monitoring applications. These technologies have already moved
dynamically from purely research towards commercial applications, with examples in critical areas such as water quality assurance (Brumfield 2020), nosocomial infection control(Greninger 2017), and even the International Space Station (Be 2017). The use of
Metagenomics in combination with the effective analysis of complex data produced by Bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence methods, compose a powerful tool in the detection of unknown biological threats that until recently were invisible through traditional control