SHIONOGI Announces the Start of the Wastewater Epidemiological Surveillance Service for the Novel Coronavirus in Japan

OSAKA, Japan, June 14, 2021 - Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (hereafter "Shionogi") announced that it starts weastwater epidemiology surveillance service for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to wastewater treatment plants of municipality.


This is an investigative service to confirm the infection status of SARS-CoV-2 in the target area by regularly monitoring the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater based on wastewater epidemiology. By regularly collecting and monitoring wastewater at the wastewater treatment plants of each local government, it is expected to contribute to grasp the infection status in the target area.


SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the feces of a significant proportion of infected individuals1. In the United States and the Netherlands, the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater of facilities and cities is regularly monitored to detect epidemics at an early stage and determine convergence2, 3. In Japan, there have been fewer reported cases of COVID-19 infection per capita compared to the United States and some European countries and regions; therefore, for social implementation, the challenge had been to develop a virus detection method with increased sensitivity.


Shionogi has developed a highly sensitive virus detection method with Hokkaido University since October 2020. Under the cooperation of the Prefectural Government of Osaka, the company started experimentaly to monitor at wastewater treatment plants by utilizing this highly sensitive virus detection method4 and succeeded to detect SARS-CoV-2 quantitatively. Shionogi will start providing services for monitoring at wastewater treatment plants by utilizing this highly sensitive virus detection method.


The monitoring data of this service can be used as an objective index when each local government takes preventive measures against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 because it is possible to grasp the tendency of the spread and convergence of SARS-CoV-2 in the region without identifying individuals. Shionogi has begun to discuss for business partnership of aiming to build a social system for wastewater monitoring with Shimadzu Corporation 5. Shionogi and Shimazu will combine their strengths and aim to enable automatic detection of viruses in wastewater, infection status, and outbreak trends of mutant strains at an early stage by utilizing wastewater monitoring data.


About Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

Shionogi is committed to “protect people worldwide from the threat of infectious diseases” as our key focus. We are not limiting ourselves to the research and development of therapeutics, but are also pursuing total care for infectious diseases, through pre-symptomatic, awareness building, prevention, diagnosis, and addressing exacerbations, as well as the treating the infection itself. As a leading company to fight infectious diseases, in order to contribute to the recovery of social security and safety through the early termination of COVID 19, we are working on the development of new therapeutic drugs and vaccines and maximizing the value of existing compounds. In addition, we will strengthen our efforts, including collaboration with external partners, to provide healthcare solutions to a larger number of patients.

For Further Information, Contact:

SHIONOGI Website Inquiry Form : https://www.shionogi.com/global/en/contact.html



1.         Duration of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding in faeces as a parameter for wastewater-based epidemiology: Re-analysis of patient data using a shedding dynamics model, Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 769, 15 May 2021

2.         COVID-19 containment on a college campus via wastewater-based epidemiology, targeted clinical testing and an intervention, Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 779, 20 July 2021

3.         Coronavirus monitoring in sewage research:https://coronadashboard.government.nl/landelijk/rioolwater

4.         Press Release on April, 14
Wastewater surveillance to monitor COVID-19 starts in Osaka Prefecture

5.         Press Release on June, 2
Notice Regarding the Signing of Basic Agreement of Business Partnership between SHIMADZU and SHIONOGI for Wastewater Surveillance for Viruses in the Field of Infectious Diseases, Including Novel Coronavirus


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