Researcher , Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) , DroMedArio, Wastewater-Based Epidemiology
Stephan Baumgartner, biochemist and doctoral student at Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). His research interest lies in the study of human excretion products in wastewater as epidemiological indicators with a focus on the analysis of pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and endogenous biomarkers.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, wastewater-based epidemiology has received a boost globally. While wastewater cannot reveal any information on individuals – which is a great advantage in terms of privacy issues – it contains a wealth of information at the community level. The study of relevant chemicals (i.e. excreted pharmaceutical or drug residues) and pathogens at the influent to a wastewater treatment plant allows anonymous and near real-time assessment of trends for drug consumption, diseases and health-conditions.