News from Hyrax Biosciences

Exatype Continues to Facilitate COVID-19 Monitoring as Winter Flu Season Hits South Africa

Arrow pointing left Previous news

Dr Natasha Wood 08/07/2024

As South Africa enters the winter season, the country is experiencing a small uptick in COVID-19 cases amidst the concurrent flu season. The latest data indicates that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has reached over 4 million, with more than 102 000 deaths reported since the pandemic began.1

Hyrax Biosciences remains committed to supporting SARS-CoV-2 variant detection and surveillance through Exatype, its online analysis platform. Exatype streamlines and simplifies the interpretation of viral DNA, enabling users to focus on identifying and monitoring variants for surveillance. In 2024 alone, over 3 500 SARS-CoV-2 samples have been analysed using Exatype, bringing the total number of samples processed since the pandemic’s start to more than 100 000.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) regularly uses Exatype for their analyses and remains a leader in SARS-CoV-2 reporting and monitoring in South Africa. “Exatype has been instrumental in our analysis of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and now as we continue to monitor the virus”, Dikeledi Kekana (Bioinformatics Scientist at the NICD) recently said.

The latest epidemiological update from the WHO indicates that, as of May 26, 2024, there have been over 775 million confirmed cases and more than 7 million deaths worldwide since the start of the pandemic. However, data from wastewater monitoring suggests that the actual number of cases could be 2 to 19 times higher than what clinical tests have detected.2 This type of viral data from wastewater is also regularly analysed using Exatype.

With many countries integrating COVID-19 reporting into broader respiratory disease surveillance, the WHO emphasises the importance of continuing to monitor COVID-19 using all available data sources. Key actions include sustaining early warning systems, surveillance, variant tracking, and ensuring regular communication.2 Hyrax Biosciences continues to facilitate these essential efforts through its Exatype platform.

The Exatype platform is tailored for variant detection, resistance reporting and genomic surveillance. If your laboratory or institution needs support for pathogen detection or genotyping, please reach out to explore how we can collaborate.

1https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/ 2https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports