H2OBiome Wastewater COVID-19 Testing Service Launches Across the United States

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CosmosID announces the official launch of H2Obiome, a testing service for water and wastewater testing for pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. The first offering is detection of virus in wastewater treatment plants, providing early warning of community COVID-19 outbreaks. Studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 virus is detectible in sewage approximately one to two weeks before a COVID-19 case is recorded by the health department.

CosmosID is working with Maryland Department of Environment and Frederick County Department of Health to monitor COVID-19 virus in sewage in wastewater treatment plants. Testing sewage from specific buildings, such as dormitories on college campuses, is also proving useful as an early warning system. “Leveraging the best testing methods to determine the microbiome of all types of water offers a powerful knowledge base for combating COVID-19,” said Dr. Rita Colwell, Founder and Chairman of CosmosID.  This strategy is the foundation of the new H2OBiome testing service.

H2Obiome is the first COVID-19 wastewater test with guaranteed rapid turnaround time. CosmosID CEO Manoj Dadlani referred to ease of sampling and speed of results as the two main problems solved by the H2Obiome wastewater testing service. “To make the service user friendly, our clients are provided sampling kits with instructions for collecting, preserving, and safely shipping the sample to the laboratory. Actionable and accurate results are returned quickly with our new guaranteed turnaround time program that can even provide same day results!” Prices start at $300 per sample and go up based on turnaround time needs and the level of volume commitment.

Testing utilizes qRT-PCR to measure SARS-CoV-2 ORF1ab and N gene copy numbers. The data are employed to monitor levels of the virus, with an uptick serving as indication of the need for rapid introduction of corrective measures to ensure public health.

The H2Obiome testing service offers cost savings, especially for municipalities, universities, and colleges facing the daunting task of reopening. Wastewater surveillance provides a means of localized early warning. Universities and colleges across the country currently employ CosmosID’s H2Obiome testing service to augment COVID-19 testing of individual students. Turnaround time for human COVID-19 testing can range from a day to weeks.  The data wastewater testing provides is actionable, hence beneficial to a municipality, university, or college.

Institutions currently using the H2Obiome testing service are located in Florida, California, Ohio, Maryland, and across the US.

For more information, please visit www.H2Obiome.com

About CosmosID 
CosmosID®, based in Rockville, Maryland, is a genomics big data company focused on rapid identification of microorganisms for molecular diagnostics, clinical trials, public health, food safety, agriculture, and environmental applications. The CosmosID platform uses proprietary sequence analysis algorithms to accurately profile all microorganisms in a metagenomic sample employing next-generation DNA sequencing. CosmosID was founded in 2008 by Dr. Rita Colwell, former director of the National Science Foundation and currently Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. To learn more please visit www.cosmosid.com.

Jon Ryan