Wastewater and Pathogens: Using the Past to Inform the Future

  • October 7, 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm
  • Please RSVP by emailing Debra Reese. Please include your full name, email address, and institution/organization.
  • We will provide instructions on obtaining CME credit for attendance.

Wastewater-based analyses for pathogens have provided unique public health tools for the detection of many infectious diseases since the 20th century and have expanded rapidly during the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Wastewater detection of SARS-CoV-2 has aided epidemiologists to predict and track COVID-19 outbreaks. The goal of this talk is to increase the awareness of the role that wastewater epidemiology can potentially play in detecting enteric foodborne bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens in wastewater as an early warning or sentinel system to predict outbreaks. This talk will address the evolution of wastewater analysis from detecting polio to modern day SARS-CoV-2 monitoring and how previous investigations have influenced methodology, techniques, and data analysis for foodborne pathogens. Overall, wastewater analysis for pathogens is important to the discussion on current techniques and procedures used for SARS-CoV-2 detection which can inform and improve the detection of foodborne pathogens in wastewater.

Meet the Speaker

Kalmia (Kali) Kniel, PhD

Dr. Kali Kniel is a Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware, where she has been since 2004. She obtained her B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Molecular Cell Biology, and Ph.D. in Food Science from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. From 2002-2004, Kali served as a postdoctoral research microbiologist with the Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Kniel serves as the Co-Chair of the One Health Program at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Co-Director of the Center for Environmental and Wastewater Epidemiological Research. Dr. Kniel’s research interests include understanding mechanisms of environmental persistence by zoonotic and human bacteria, protozoa, and viruses in pre-harvest agricultural environments focusing on water and soil amendments. Her current teaching responsibilities include courses on epidemiology and foodborne disease, government regulations pertaining to food safety and quality, controversial and social issues of food science, and food security. Dr. Kniel also leads research projects on the integration of food safety into secondary educational programs and for higher education non-science majors. Kali is a Past-President of the International Association for Food Protection.

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

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