Advanced technologies underpinning Victoria’s COVID wastewater monitoring program

Associate Professor Aaron Jex, WEHI


Associate Professor Aaron Jex


A/Prof Aaron Jex leads an infectious disease research laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. He has worked with the Victorian water industry for more than 15 years, with a focus on molecular-based diagnostics and systems biology based studies of CryptosporidiumGiardia, harmful algae and SARS-CoV-2. A/Prof Jex has played a key role in the Victorian ColoSSoS program through the evaluation of PCR-based diagnostics, development of novel tools to verify positive test results, and implementation of the program. A/Prof Jex’s team are now developing methods to support wastewater-based detection of high-risk SARS-CoV-2 variants and whole genomic sequencing methods to assist community tracing.


Wednesday 1 December 20203.00PM AWST
Associate Professor Aaron JexOnlineView lecture recording


Talk abstract

Wastewater testing for SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as a key component of COVID control programs around the world. My team has played an important and on-going role in the development of these programs in Australia, with a specific focus on Victoria. In this seminar, I will introduce some of the critical ways in which computation biology is assisting global COVID control programs. I will discuss how advanced technologies, including computation biology and bioinformatics, have been used in wastewater testing programs in Victoria and how these methods are being developed to detect high-risk SARS-CoV-2 variants as they emerge and help track their transmission in the community.