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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


BIJLSMA, Lubertus et al. Wastewater-based epidemiology: applications towards the estimation of drugs of abuse consumption and public health in general. The Spanish network ESAR-Net. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2018, vol.92, e201808053.  Epub Aug 20, 2018. ISSN 2173-9110.

This manuscript introduces Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) and its potential in the assessment of diverse aspects related to public health. This methodology can provide data in a relatively short temporal and local scale (typically dialy-weekly at the municipal level) on consumption patterns of illicit drugs (e.g. cocaine or cannabis), licit substances of abuse (e.g. alcohol) by measuring their consumption biomarkers (i.e. the original unmetabolized substance or some of its metabolite) in wastewater. Besides discussing the fundaments, advantages and shortcomings of WBE, it reviews some of the main precedents at international level and most remarkable activities that have been taken place in this field in Spain. Finally, the Spanish Network of Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (ESAR-Net) as is presented. ESAR-Net is an Excellence Network that sums up the efforts of the most relevant Spanish researchers in the field of WBE, aiming to investigate future perspectives of this methodology and its impact on Public Health competences in Spain.

Keywords : Epidemiology; Consumption of drugs of abuse; Alcohol; Tobacco; Public health; Biomarkers; Health promotion.

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