Jenna Cantin


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A wastewater-based risk index for SARS-CoV-2 infections among three cities on the Canadian Prairie
Mohsen Asadi, Femi Francis Oloye, Yuwei Xie, Jenna Cantin, Jonathan K. Challis, Kerry N. McPhedran, Warsame Yusuf, David Champredon, Ximing Pu, Chantel De Lange, Seba El-Baroudy, Mark R. Servos, Paul D. Jones, John P. Giesy, Markus Brinkmann
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 876

Wastewater surveillance (WWS) is useful to better understand the spreading of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in communities, which can help design and implement suitable mitigation measures. The main objective of this study was to develop the Wastewater Viral Load Risk Index (WWVLRI) for three Saskatchewan cities to offer a simple metric to interpret WWS. The index was developed by considering relationships between reproduction number, clinical data, daily per capita concentrations of virus particles in wastewater, and weekly viral load change rate. Trends of daily per capita concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater for Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and North Battleford were similar during the pandemic, suggesting that per capita viral load can be useful to quantitatively compare wastewater signals among cities and develop an effective and comprehensible WWVLRI. The effective reproduction number (Rt) and the daily per capita efficiency adjusted viral load thresholds of 85 × 106 and 200 × 106 N2 gene counts (gc)/population day (pd) were determined. These values with rates of change were used to categorize the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks and subsequent declines. The weekly average was considered 'low risk' when the per capita viral load was 85 × 106 N2 gc/pd. A 'medium risk' occurs when the per capita copies were between 85 × 106 and 200 × 106 N2 gc/pd. with a rate of change <100 %. The start of an outbreak is indicated by a 'medium-high' risk classification when the week-over-week rate of change was >100 %, and the absolute magnitude of concentrations of viral particles was >85 × 106 N2 gc/pd. Lastly, a 'high risk' occurs when the viral load exceeds 200 × 106 N2 gc/pd. This methodology provides a valuable resource for decision-makers and health authorities, specifically given the limitation of COVID-19 surveillance based on clinical data.

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Perfluoroethylcyclohexane sulphonate, an emerging perfluoroalkyl substance, disrupts mitochondrial membranes and the expression of key molecular targets in vitro
Hannah Mahoney, Jenna Cantin, Yuwei Xie, Markus Brinkmann, John P. Giesy
Aquatic Toxicology, Volume 257

Perfluoroethylcyclohexane sulphonate (PFECHS) is an emerging, replacement perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) with little information available on the toxic effects or potencies with which to characterize its potential impacts on aquatic environments. This study aimed to characterize effects of PFECHS using in vitro systems, including rainbow trout liver cells (RTL-W1 cell line) and lymphocytes separated from whole blood. It was determined that exposure to PFECHS caused minor acute toxic effects for most endpoints and that little PFECHS was concentrated into cells with a mean in vitro bioconcentration factor of 81 ± 25 L/kg. However, PFECHS was observed to affect the mitochondrial membrane and key molecular receptors, such as the peroxisome proliferator receptor, cytochrome p450-dependent monooxygenases, and receptors involved in oxidative stress. Also, glutathione-S-transferase was significantly down-regulated at a near environmentally relevant exposure concentration of 400 ng/L. These results are the first to report bioconcentration of PFECHS, as well as its effects on the peroxisome proliferator and glutathione-S-transferase receptors, suggesting that even with little bioconcentration, PFECHS has potential to cause adverse effects.

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Acute Exposure of Zebrafish (<i>Danio rerio</i>) to the Next-Generation Perfluoroalkyl Substance, Perfluoroethylcyclohexanesulfonate, Shows Similar Effects as Legacy Substances
Hannah Mahoney, Jenna Cantin, Josephine Rybchuk, Yuwei Xie, John P. Giesy, Markus Brinkmann
Environmental Science & Technology, Volume 57, Issue 10

Perfluoroethylcyclohexanesulfonate (PFECHS) is an emerging perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) that has been considered a potential replacement for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). However, there is little information characterizing the toxic potency of PFECHS to zebrafish embryos and its potential for effects in aquatic environments. This study assessed toxic potency of PFECHS in vivo during both acute (96-hour postfertilization) and chronic (21-day posthatch) exposures and tested concentrations of PFECHS from 500 ng/L to 2 mg/L. PFECHS was less likely to cause mortalities than PFOS for both the acute and chronic experiments based on previously published values for PFOS exposure, but exposure resulted in a similar incidence of deformities. Exposure to PFECHS also resulted in significantly increased abundance of transcripts of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (pparα), cytochrome p450 1a1 (cyp1a1), and apolipoprotein IV (apoaIV) at concentrations nearing those of environmental relevance. Overall, these results provide further insight into the safety of an emerging PFAS alternative in the aquatic environment and raise awareness that previously considered "safer" alternatives may show similar effects as legacy PFASs.


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RNA in Municipal Wastewater Reveals Magnitudes of COVID-19 Outbreaks across Four Waves Driven by SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern
Yuwei Xie, Jonathan K. Challis, Femi Francis Oloye, Mohsen Asadi, Jenna Cantin, Markus Brinkmann, Kerry N. McPhedran, Natacha S. Hogan, Mike Sadowski, Paul D. Jones, Chrystal Landgraff, Chand S. Mangat, Mark R. Servos, John P. Giesy
ACS ES&T Water, Volume 2, Issue 11

There are no standardized protocols for quantifying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in wastewater to date, especially for population normalization. Here, a pipeline was developed, applied, and assessed to quantify SARS-CoV-2 and key variants of concern (VOCs) RNA in wastewater at Saskatoon, Canada. Normalization approaches using recovery ratio and extraction efficiency, wastewater parameters, or population indicators were assessed by comparing to daily numbers of new cases. Viral load was positively correlated with daily new cases reported in the sewershed. Wastewater surveillance (WS) had a lead time of approximately 7 days, which indicated surges in the number of new cases. WS revealed the variant α and δ driving the third and fourth wave, respectively. The adjustment with the recovery ratio and extraction efficiency improved the correlation between viral load and daily new cases. Normalization of viral concentration to concentrations of the artificial sweetener acesulfame K improved the trend of viral load during the Christmas and New Year holidays when populations were dynamic and variable. Acesulfame K performed better than pepper mild mottle virus, creatinine, and ammonia for population normalization. Hence, quality controls to characterize recovery ratios and extraction efficiencies and population normalization with acesulfame are promising for precise WS programs supporting decision-making in public health.

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Rapid transition between SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern Delta and Omicron detected by monitoring municipal wastewater from three Canadian cities
Femi Francis Oloye, Yuwei Xie, Mohsen Asadi, Jenna Cantin, Jonathan K. Challis, Markus Brinkmann, Kerry N. McPhedran, Kevin Kristian, Mark P. Keller, Mike Sadowski, Paul D. Jones, Chrystal Landgraff, Chand S. Mangat, Meghan Fuzzen, Mark R. Servos, John P. Giesy
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 841

Monitoring the communal incidence of COVID-19 is important for both government and residents of an area to make informed decisions. However, continuous reliance on one means of monitoring might not be accurate because of biases introduced by government policies or behaviours of residents. Wastewater surveillance was employed to monitor concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in raw influent wastewater from wastewater treatment plants serving three Canadian Prairie cities with different population sizes. Data obtained from wastewater are not directly influenced by government regulations or behaviours of individuals. The means of three weekly samples collected using 24 h composite auto-samplers were determined. Viral loads were determined by RT-qPCR, and whole-genome sequencing was used to charaterize variants of concern (VOC). The dominant VOCs in the three cities were the same but with different proportions of sub-lineages. Sub-lineages of Delta were AY.12, AY.25, AY.27 and AY.93 in 2021, while the major sub-lineage of Omicron was BA.1 in January 2022, and BA.2 subsequently became a trace-level sub-variant then the predominant VOC. When each VOC was first detected varied among cities; However, Saskatoon, with the largest population, was always the first to present new VOCs. Viral loads varied among cities, but there was no direct correlation with population size, possibly because of differences in flow regimes. Population is one of the factors that affects trends in onset and development of local outbreaks during the pandemic. This might be due to demography or the fact that larger populations had greater potential for inter- and intra-country migration. Hence, wastewater surveillance data from larger cities can typically be used to indicate what to expect in smaller communities.

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Predicting Hepatic Clearance of Psychotropic Drugs in Isolated Perfused Fish Livers Using a Combination of Two <i>In Vitro</i> Assays
Zoey M. Bourgeois, Jordan J Comfort, Matthew Schultz, Jonathan K. Challis, Jenna Cantin, Xiaowen Ji, John P. Giesy, Markus Brinkmann
Environmental Science & Technology, Volume 56, Issue 22

In vitro biotransformation assays with primary trout hepatocytes (RT-HEP) or liver subcellular fractions (RT-S9) have been proposed as valuable tools to help scientists and regulators better understand the toxicokinetics of chemicals. While both assays have been applied successfully to a diversity of neutral organic chemicals, only the RT-S9 assay has been applied to a large number of ionizable organic chemicals. Here, a combination of an in vitro biotransformation assay with RT-HEP with an active transport assay based on the permanent rainbow trout liver cell line RTL-W1 was used to qualitatively predict the potential hepatic clearance of nine psychotropic drugs with various degrees of ionization. Predictions were compared with rates of clearance measured in isolated perfused rainbow trout livers, and the importance of active transport was verified in the presence of the active transport inhibitor cyclosporin A. For the first time, it was demonstrated that a combination of biotransformation and active transport assays is powerful for the prediction of rates of hepatic clearance of ionizable chemicals. Ultimately, it is expected that this approach will allow for use of fewer animals while at the same time improving our confidence in the use of data from in vitro assays in chemical risk assessment.


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Ractopamine and Other Growth-Promoting Compounds in Beef Cattle Operations: Fate and Transport in Feedlot Pens and Adjacent Environments
Jonathan K. Challis, Srinivas Sura, Jenna Cantin, Ashley Curtis, K. M. Shade, Tim A. McAllister, Paul D. Jones, John P. Giesy, Francis J. Larney
Environmental Science & Technology, Volume 55, Issue 3

The current study represents a comprehensive investigation of the occurrence and fates of trenbolone acetate (TBA) and metabolites 17α-trenbolone (17α-TBOH), 17β-TBOH, and trendione (TBO); melengesterol acetate (MGA); and the less commonly studied β-andrenergic agonist ractopamine (RAC) in two 8 month cattle feeding trials and simulated rainfall runoff experiments. Cattle were administered TBA, MGA, or RAC, and their residues were measured in fresh feces, pen floor material, and simulated rainfall runoff from pen floor surfaces and manure-amended pasture. Concentrations of RAC ranged from 3600 ng g–1, dry weight (dw), in pen floor to 58 000 ng g–1 in fresh feces and were, on average, observed at 3–4 orders of magnitude greater than those of TBA and MGA. RAC persisted in pen floors (manure t1/2 = 18–49 days), and contamination of adjacent sites was observed, likely via transport of windblown particulates. Concentrations in runoff water from pen floors extrapolated to larger-scale commercial feedlots revealed that a single rainfall event could result in mobilization of gram quantities of RAC. This is the first report of RAC occurrence and fate in cattle feedlot environments, and will help understand the risks posed by this chemical and inform appropriate manure-management practices.