This paper presents an updated and comprehensive review on the different methods used for detection and quantification of viruses in wastewater treatment systems. The analysis of viability of viruses in wastewater and sludge is another thrust of this review. Recent studies have mostly focused on determining the abundance and diversity of viruses in wastewater influents, in samples from primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment stages, and in final effluents. A few studies have also examined the occurrence and diversity of viruses in raw and digested sludge samples. Recent efforts to improve efficiency of virus detection and quantification methods in the complex wastewater and sludge matrices are highlighted in this review. A summary and a detailed comparison of the pre-treatment methods that have been utilized for wastewater and sludge samples are also presented. The role of metagenomics or sequencing analysis in monitoring wastewater systems to predict disease outbreaks, to conduct public health surveillance, to assess the efficiency of existing treatment systems in virus removal, and to re-evaluate current regulations regarding pathogenic viruses in wastewater is discussed in this paper. Challenges and future perspectives in the detection of viruses, including emerging and newly emerged viruses such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), in wastewater systems are discussed in this review.
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