SPT supports UKHSA genomics surveillance project to strengthen global health security

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SPT Labtech
SPT Labtech combines the non-contact reagent dispensing of dragonfly discovery (left) with the multichannel low-volume positive displacement pipetting of mosquito HV genomics (right), to facilitate high-throughput sample preparation for genomic sequencing. Photo: SPT Labtech

SPT Labtech, which designs, develops and manufactures automated instrumentation and consumables for life science applications, continues its partnership with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to advance global genomics surveillance.

SPT Labtech has deployed pioneering automated liquid handling technology to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Brazil, as part of the program facilitated through the New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) led by UKHSA.

Two advanced liquid handling instruments from SPT Labtech have been installed at FIOCRUZ to facilitate high-throughput sample preparation for genomic sequencing. They are: mosquito HV genomics (multichannel positive displacement pipetting down to 500 nl), and dragonfly discovery (non-contact reagent dispensing across all liquid types).

Automating the labour-intensive process of sample preparation enables rapid and reliable insights into pathogens of public health concern. This in turn facilitates faster reporting and timely sharing of critical data with the global community during public health emergencies.

This news follows the announcement last year when UKHSA helped the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) track new variants and pathogens in the Caribbean region.

“SPT Labtech is proud to be a part of this essential initiative in bolstering global health security through our powerful liquid handling technology,” sid Joby Jenkins, chief technology officer at SPT Labtech.

“By enabling genomics laboratories to streamline their operations, we’re supporting the early detection of emerging infectious diseases as well as facilitating a better understanding of pathogenic evolution.”

“The New Variant Assessment Platform (NVAP) is a powerful example of the impact we can achieve through UK–Brazil collaboration,” added Rossa Commane, science and innovation director for Latin America.

“NVAP has supported Brazil to strengthen its in-country genomic sequencing capability, through capacity training and by leveraging existing infrastructure. This has not only improved the Brazilian response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also provided a powerful tool for future decision-making in public health. Pandemics recognize no borders, and improved genomic surveillance and data sharing, and more resilient healthcare systems, will better prepare us all for future threats.”

Jim Cornall is editor of Deeptech Digest and publisher at Ayr Coastal Media. He is an award-winning writer, editor, photographer, broadcaster, designer and author. Contact Jim here.