Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa: A network  established to rapidly respond to public health threats



Lancet Microbe


KRISP produces over 1000 HIV-1 genomes in record time

Durban, 3 December 2020. The KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), University of KwaZulu-Natal has produced over 1000 HIV-1 genomes in record time in South Africa, a significant scientific endeavor to understand how drug resistance has developed to a new and potent antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

How many people are catching Covid in hospital?

Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson write at the Spectator about nosocomial infection in the U.K. In this article they mention our genomics and outbreak response (Lessells, Moosa & de Oliveira 2020) work on a large hospital outbreak in South Africa.

The KZN Covid-19 Research Consortium

The KZN Covid-19 Research Consortium invites researchers, scientists, and clinicians to submit an abstract for its upcoming virtual conference. Abstracts should relate to KZN-specific Covid-19 research findings and/or experiences and practice. An example of experience/practice may include experiences of working in hospital or clinic settings; or what the challenges were in clinical research conduct.

16 new lineages of SARS-CoV-2 emerge in South Africa despite lockdown

Published in a recent medRxiv* paper, researchers from South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Brazil found that these mutations in SARS-CoV-2 lineages are localized to South Africa. These unique strains, not found elsewhere in the world, are thought to have contributed around 42% to the country's total infection rate.

SPARK South Africa: Novel Diagnostics Grant Application 2020

Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of KRISP, UKZN, eThekwini, Stanford and SPARK Global faculty and commercial and industry experts. Based on the compiled rankings, finalists will be invited to present an oral pitch to the review panel in early December, 2020. Approximately 3-5 proposals selected for awards (number dependent on available funding) will be notified before the end of December, 2020.

28th Weekly Press Briefing on the Coronavirus disease outbreak - Dr John Nkengasong & Prof. Tulio de Oliveira

WHAT: Weekly interaction with members of the media to share critical updates on steps taken to implement key aspects of the joint continental strategy for COVID-19 response; and to also highlight the coordinated efforts by African Union Member States to combat the pandemic in their respective countries.

How a team of scientists worked tirelessly to help the COVID-19 response in Africa

Ahead of the emergence of the SARS-CoV -2 outbreak in South Africa KRISP started preparing for it. KRISP really rose to the occasion in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. In the process, KRISP trained 1000s of health care workers, produced genomic protocols & capacitated dozens of laboratories in Africa to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic


Reduced efficacy of HIV-1 integrase inhibitors in patients with drug resistance mutations in reverse transcriptase.
Siedner MJ, Moorhouse MA, Simmons B, de Oliveira T, Lessells R, Giandhari J, Kemp SA, Chimukangara B, Akpomiemie G, Serenata Cm, Venter WDF, HillA, Gupta RK, Nature Communications (2020),

HIV infection alters SARS-CoV-2 responsive immune parameters but not clinical outcomes in COVID-19 disease.
Karim F, Gazy I, Cele S, Zungu Y, Krause R, Bernstein M, Ganga Y, Rodel H, Mthabela N, Mazibuko M, Khan K, Muema D, Ramjit D, Lustig G, Ndung’u T, Hanekom W, Gosnell BI, COMMIT-KZN Team, Wong E, de Oliveira T, Moosa MYS, Leslie A, Kløverpris H, Sigal A, medRxiv (2020), doi:

Cost-effectiveness of public health strategies for COVID-19 epidemic control in South Africa: a microsimulation modelling study.
Reddy KP, Shebl FM, Foote JHA, Harling G, Scott JA, Panella C, Fitzmaurice KP, Flanagan C, Hyle EP, Neilan AM, Mohareb AM, Bekker L-G, Lessells R, Ciaranello AL, Wood R, Losina E, Freedberg KA, Kazemian P, Siedner MJ , Lancet Global Health (2020),

Major new lineages of SARS-CoV-2 emerge and spread in South Africa during lockdown.
Tegally H, Wilkinson E, Lessells R, Giandhari J, Pillay S, Msomi N, Mlisana K, Bhiman J, Allam M, Ismail A, Engelbrecht S, Van Zyl G, Preiser W, Williamson C, Pettruccione F, Sigal A, Gazy I, Hardie D, Hsiao M, Martin D, York D, Goedhals D, San EJ, Giovanetti M, Lourenco J, Alcantara LCJ, de Oliveira T, medRxiv (2020),

Portable sequencing in the field and the classroom: a retrospective examination of the circulation of DENV1 and DENV2 in Brazil.
Adelino TER, Giovanetti M, Fonseca V, Xavier J, Salgado A, Nascimento V, Demarchi LH, Oliveira M, Silva V, Mello A, Muricy G, Santos R, Oliveira E, Junior JAC, Iani F, de Filippis AMB, Abreu AL, de Jesus R, Albuquerque CF, Rico J, Said R, Silva J, Moura N, Leite P, Vinhal L, Kashima S, Martinez AA, Khouri F, Vazquez C, Cunha R, Araujo E, Tosta S, Fabri A, Chalhoub F, Lemos P, de Bruycker-Nogueira F, Lichs G, Zardin M, Cardozo F, Goncalves C, Fernandez Z, Slavov S, Pereira LA, Mendonca AF, Pereira F, Magalhaes J, de Castro A, Lima M, Nogueira R, Goes A, Azevedo V, Ramalho D, Oliveira W, Medeiros A, Pimentel V, Latin American Genomic Surveillance Arboviral Network, Holmes EC, de Oliveira T, Lourenco J, Alcantara LCJ, medRxiv (2020),

Adding a Voice to the Unique Ethical Considerations in Molecular HIV Surveillance.
Mutenherwa F, Wassenaar D, de Oliveira T, The American Journal of Bioethics (2020),


How a team of scientists worked tirelessly to help the COVID-19 response in Africa
By: Pillay S, Giandhari J, Tegally H, Wilkinson E, Chimukangara B, Lessells R, Mattison S, Moosa Y, Gazy I, Fish M, Singh L, Khanyile KS, Fonseca V, Giovanetti M, Alcantara LCJ, de Oliveira T




Genome Detective Coronavirus Typing Tool

Genome Detective Coronavirus Typing Tool for rapid identification and characterization of novel coronavirus genomes

Genome Detective Dengue Virus Typing Tool

This is a beta version of our Dengue Virus Typing tool. For the mean time, this tool should be used for evaluation only. Please send feedback to Tulio de Oliveira.

Genome Detective Zika Typing Tool

This is the first version of the Zika typing tool, which uses phylogenetic analysis to identify the species and genotype of the virus.

Genome Detective Chikungunya Typing Tool

This is the first version of the Chikungunya typing tool, which uses phylogenetic analysis to identify the species and genotype of the virus.

Genome Detective Yellow Fever Virus Typing Tool

This is the first version of the Yellow Fever typing tool, which uses phylogenetic analysis to identify the species and genotype of the virus.

Genome Detective

This is the first version of our Arbovirus typing tool for Chikungunya, Dengue, Yellow Fever and Zika

REGA HIV Subtyping Tool V3 - Belgium Mirror

Phylogenetic tool to identify the HIV-1 subtypes and recombinants. Query sequences are analysed for recombination using bootscanning methods. The version 3 contains new CRFs (CRF01_AE to CRF47_BF).


KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).

Location: K-RITH Tower Building
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
719 Umbilo Road, Durban, South Africa.
Director: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira