The University of Barcelona, Spain, announced on June 26 that a team led by the university had detected the new coronavirus in a sample of wastewater collected in Barcelona in March 2019. Researchers from the Enterovirus Team at the University of Barcelona tested local wastewater samples and found that the wastewater samples collected on March 12, 2019 were positive for polymerase chain reactions (PCR), but the virus levels were very low, the statement said.
Previously, the team’s researchers detected the presence of the new coronavirus in wastewater samples on January 15, 2020. The first confirmed case of new coronary pneumonia was not reported in mainland Spain until February 25, 2020.
“If the results are confirmed, it could be the earliest evidence of the existence of the new global coronavirus, ” The Spanish newspaper Le Monde reported. The report also noted that as research into the new coronapneumonia pandemic progressed, scientists found that the new coronavirus appeared in Europe at an increasingly early time.
Before humans discovered the new crown virus, it began to spread in the crowd, Xinhua said. The university’s findings have been submitted for peer review, but many experts have questioned the direction of the findings.
Dr. Joan Villarvi of the Spanish Institute of Public Health and Health Management said it was too early to determine the timing of the outbreak. Since there is only one result, more data, more research, more samples are needed to confirm the results, and factors such as experimental errors or methodproblems need to be ruled out;
Hertien Medma, a microbiologist at the KWR Water Institute in the Netherlands, suggested that the team at the University of Barcelona retest the archived samples to confirm the existence of the new coronavirus. It has also been suggested that the concentration steps of the sample preparation of this study at the University of Barcelona are not sufficiently standardized.