Document Type


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Microbiology and Immunology


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Despite entering an endemic phase, SARS-CoV-2 remains a significant burden to public health across the global community. Wastewater sampling has consistently proven utility to understanding SARS-CoV-2 prevalence trends and genetic variation as it represents a less biased assessment of the corresponding communities. Here, we report that ongoing monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 genetic variation in samples obtained from the wastewatersheds of the city of Louisville in Jefferson county Kentucky has revealed the periodic reemergence of the Delta strain in the presence of the presumed dominant Omicron strain. Unlike previous SARS-CoV-2 waves/emergence events, the Delta reemergence events were geographically restricted in the community and failed to spread into other areas as determined by wastewater analyses. Moreover, the reemergence of the Delta strain did not correlate with vaccination rates as communities with lower relative vaccination have been, to date, not affected. Importantly, Delta reemergence events correlate with increased public health burdens, as indicated by increased daily case rates and mortality relative to non-Delta wastewatershed communities. While the underlying reasons for the reemergence of the Delta variant remain unclear, these data reaffirm the ongoing importance of wastewater genomic analyses towards understanding SARS-CoV-2 as it enters the endemic phase.


Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

Original Publication Information

Westcott, C.E.; Sokoloski, K.J.; Rouchka, E.C.; Chariker, J.H.; Holm, R.H.; Yeager, R.A.; Moore, J.B., IV; Elliott, E.M.; Talley, D.; Bhatnagar, A.; et al. The Detection of Periodic Reemergence Events of SARS-CoV-2 Delta Strain in Communities Dominated by Omicron. Pathogens 2022, 11, 1249. 10.3390/pathogens11111249