Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, commonly affecting sexually active college-aged adults. Presently, opportunistic testing, self-testing, and information campaigns are methods to screen vulnerable populations and raise awareness about chlamydia. Chlamydia remains underdiagnosed and undertested due to a lack of participation by individuals who may have been exposed to it. Wastewater-based epidemiology is a rising biomonitoring tool that detects the presence of disease- and drug-specific biomarkers in a community's wastewater. In this study, wastewater-based epidemiology was used to detect the presence of C. trachomatis on the University of Central Florida campus. Wastewater samples were collected from two locations on campus from January 2022 to December 2022. The samples were pasteurized and filtered. DNA was extracted from the filters and was subsequently quantified using qPCR. C. trachomatis was detected at both sites of the UCF campus, with peaks corresponding to periods of the academic semester at which students arrived on campus or had fewer academic responsibilities. It was concluded that wastewater-based epidemiology provided a low-cost and non-invasive tool to notify the public of potential chlamydia outbreaks and encourage testing. Exploration in wastewater-based epidemiology should continue in research of C. trachomatis detection.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Chin Quee, Jessie E., "Using Wastewater-Based Epidemiology to Study Chlamydia Occurrence on a College Campus" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1335.