A Bayesian framework for modeling COVID-19 case numbers through longitudinal monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater

Xiaotian Dai, Nicole Acosta, Xuewen Lu, Casey R.J. Hubert, Jangwoo Lee, Kevin Frankowski, Maria A. Bautista, Barbara J. Waddell, Kristine Du, Janine McCalder, Jon Meddings, Norma Ruecker, Tyler Williamson, Danielle A. Southern, Jordan Hollman, Gopal Achari, M. Cathryn Ryan, Steve E. Hrudey, Bonita E. Lee, Xiaoli PangRhonda G. Clark, Michael D. Parkins, Thierry Chekouo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wastewater-based surveillance has become an important tool for research groups and public health agencies investigating and monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies including other pathogens and drug abuse. While there is an emerging body of evidence exploring the possibility of predicting COVID-19 infections from wastewater signals, there remain significant challenges for statistical modeling. Longitudinal observations of viral copies in municipal wastewater can be influenced by noisy datasets and missing values with irregular and sparse samplings. We propose an integrative Bayesian framework to predict daily positive cases from weekly wastewater observations with missing values via functional data analysis techniques. In a unified procedure, the proposed analysis models severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 RNA wastewater signals as a realization of a smooth process with error and combines the smooth process with COVID-19 cases to evaluate the prediction of positive cases. We demonstrate that the proposed framework can achieve these objectives with high predictive accuracies through simulated and observed real data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStatistics in Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Statistics in Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Bayesian negative binomial regression
  • Bayesian Poisson regression
  • functional data analysis
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • wastewater epidemiology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'A Bayesian framework for modeling COVID-19 case numbers through longitudinal monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this