Multiple traces of monkeypox detected in non-sewered wastewater with sparse sampling from a densely populated metropolitan area in Asia

Dhammika Leshan Wannigama, Mohan Amarasiri, Parichart Hongsing, Cameron Hurst, Charin Modchang, Sudarat Chadsuthi, Suparinthon Anupong, Phatthranit Phattharapornjaroen, Ali Hosseini Rad Ali Hosseini, Stefan Fernandez, Angkana T. Huang, Naris Kueakulpattana, Chanikan Tanasatitchai, Porames Vatanaprasan, Thammakorn Saethang, Sirirat Luk-in, Robin James Storer, Puey Ounjai, Naveen Kumar Devanga Ragupathi, Phitsanuruk KanthaweeDaisuke Sano, Takashi Furukawa, Kazunari Sei, Asada Leelahavanichkul, Talerngsak Kanjanabuch, Nattiya Hirankarn, Paul G. Higgins, Anthony Kicic, Tanittha Chatsuwan, Alexander D. McLellan, Shuichi Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The monkeypox virus is excreted in the feces of infected individuals. Therefore, there is an interest in using viral load detection in wastewater for sentinel early surveillance at a community level and as a complementary approach to syndromic surveillance. We collected wastewater from 63 sewered and non-sewered locations in Bangkok city center between May and August 2022. Monkeypox viral DNA copy numbers were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and confirmed positive by Sanger sequencing. Monkeypox viral DNA was first detected in wastewater from the second week of June 2022, with a mean copy number of 16.4 copies/ml (n = 3). From the first week of July, the number of viral DNA copies increased to a mean copy number of 45.92 copies/ml. Positive samples were Sanger sequenced and confirmed the presence of the monkeypox virus. Our study is the first to detect monkeypox viral DNA in wastewater from various locations within Thailand. Results suggest that this could be a complementary source for detecting viral DNA and predicting upcoming outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number159816
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Monkeypox
  • Monkeypox Asia
  • Monkeypox viral DNA
  • Monkeypox virus in wastewater
  • WBE
  • Wastewater surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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