Evaluation of monitoring schemes for wastewater-based epidemiology to identify drug use trends using cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA and methadone

Humphries, Melissa A., Bruno, Raimondo, Lai, Foon Yin, Thai, Phong K., Holland, Barbara R., O’Brien, Jake W., Ort, Christoph, & Mueller, Jochen F. (2016) Evaluation of monitoring schemes for wastewater-based epidemiology to identify drug use trends using cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA and methadone. Environmental Science and Technology, 50(9), pp. 4760-4768.

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Wastewater-based epidemiology is increasingly being used as a tool to monitor drug use trends. To minimize costs, studies have typically monitored a small number of days. However, cycles of drug use may display weekly and seasonal trends that affect the accuracy of monthly or annual drug use estimates based on a limited number of samples. This study aimed to rationalize sampling methods for minimizing the number of samples required while maximizing information about temporal trends. A range of sampling strategies were examined: (i) targeted days (e.g., weekends), (ii) completely random or stratified random sampling, and (iii) a number of sampling strategies informed by known weekly cycles in drug use data. Using a time-series approach, analysis was performed for four drugs (MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine, methadone) collected through a continuous sampling program over 14 months. Results showed, for drugs with weekly cycles (MDMA, methamphetamine and cocaine in this sample), sampling strategies which made use of those weekly cycles required fewer samples to obtain similar information as sampling 5 days per week and had better accuracy than stratified random sampling techniques.

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ID Code: 95858
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06126
ISSN: 1520-5851
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 American Chemical Society
Copyright Statement: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science & Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher.
To access the final edited and published work see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b06126
Deposited On: 29 May 2016 22:31
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2016 04:46

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