KRISP Helping the Public Health Response to Coronavirus in KwaZulu-Natal, Africa and abroad. Become part of this help to fund it!



Promotion Sanger



Big Data update for COVID-19 in Africa: Epidemiology & Genomics

Together with the Big Data group of UKZN, we started a daily update of the data on COVID-19 in South Africa and a weekly update on cases, deaths and genomic data in Africa. All of the scripts for generation of the data is deposited open in repositories as all any data developed by our team.

KRISP is Helping the Response to Coronavirus in Africa. See our activities and please support us...

The University of KwaZulu Natal’s Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) boasts state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and scientific expertise and capacity not commonly found in Africa. This places our multidisciplinary team in the ideal position of being able to play a critical role in supporting the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has placed all current research activities and services on hold to focus full-time on helping with this outbreak. Please help to fund it by donating to our activities here.

Innovation Festival 2020, Durban, South Africa, 5-7 March 2020

KRISP has an exhibition space at the Innovation Festival, Durban, 5-7 march 2020. We will also be participating in the Cities of the Future discussion session, where we will present BioDurban vision to make Durban the Biotech capital of Africa. Please come visit us and learn more about Biotech, Innovation, Genomics, Epigenetics, Bioinformatics, Precision Medicine and DNA testing...

KRISP open a CRISPR-Cas9 laboratory with Thermo Fisher Scientific in South Africa

KRISP flew two international specialists from Thermo Fisher Scientific to start our new CRISPR-Cas9 laboratory! We also received advanced training on genetic and epigenetic editing techniques in our own lab. KRISP has now all of the equipment to growth, edit and analyse cell lines. The lab is available for scientific service and it is a major development that will help to keep Africa at the cutting-edge of science.

KRISP work to produce a bioinformatics software for coronavirus COVID-19 rapid identification and characterization

We developed an rapid bioinformatics tool for the identification and characterization of novel coronavirus genomes. The tool was released in January 2020 and published in Bioinformatics in February 2020 as an open access tool to help to characterise genomes of COVID-19 viruses.

World Birth Defects Day, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), 3 March 2020

Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), KRISP and Genetic Alliance SA joins nearly 200 national and global organizations in observing the sixth annual World Birth Defects Day (WBBD) on March 3, 2020. Launched in 2015, the WBBD movement aims to raise awareness around the serious global issue of birth defects and to urge improved surveillance, research, prevention, and care for affected individuals and families.

KRISP Newsletter Feb 2020: Publication of a Genome Detective software for rapid identification of coronavirus genomes. Award from UKZN VC

In our February/March issue of 2020, we highlight our work on the current coronavirus outbreak. We published a software application for rapid identification and characterization of novel coronavirus genomes. Our quick response was lauded by the national and international media. In this issue, we also cover the award from UKZN vice-chancellor to Dr. Veron Ramsuran, launched a CRISPR-Cas9 laboratory and organized talks, exhibitions and training workshops.


Genomic and Epidemiological Surveillance of Zika Virus in the Amazon Region.
Giovanetti M, Faria NR, Lourenco J, Goes de Jesus J, Xavier J, Claro IM, Kraemer MUG, Fonseca V, Dellicour S, Theze J, da Silva Salles F, Graef T, Silveira PP, Costa de Souza V, Alves do Nascimento V, Campos de Melo Iani F, Castilho-Martins EA, Cruz LN, Wallau G, Fabri A, Levy F, Quick J, de Azevedo V, Santana Aguiar R, de Oliveira T, Botto de Menezes C, da Costa Castilho M, Matos Terra T, Souza da Silva M, Bispo de Filippis M, Luiz de Abreu A, Kleber Oliveira W, Croda J, Campelo de Albuquerque CF, Nunes MRT, Cerdeira Sabino E, Loman N, Gomes Naveca F, Pybus O, Alcantara LC., Cell Reports (2020),

Genome Detective Coronavirus Typing Tool for rapid identification and characterization of novel coronavirus genomes.
Cleemput S, Dumon W, Fonseca V, Abdool Karim W, Giovanetti M, Alcantara LCJ, Deforche K, de Oliveira T, Bioinformatics (2020), btaa145,

Genome-wide Association Study Identifies HLA-DPB1 as a Significant Risk Factor for Severe Aplastic Anemia.
Savage SA, Viard M, O'hUigin C, Zhou W, Yeager M, Li SA, Wang T, Ramsuran V, Vince N, Vogt A, Hicks B, Burdett L, Chung C, Dean M, de Andrade KC, Freedman ND, Berndt SI, Rothman N, Lan Q, Cerhan JR, Slager SL, Zhang Y, Teras LR, Haagenson M, Chanock SJ, Spellman SR, Wang Y, Willis A, Askar M, Lee SJ, Carrington M, Gadalla SM, Am J Hum Genet. (2020), pii: S0002-9297(20)30004-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.01.004:.

Current Affairs of Microbial Genome-Wide Association Studies: Approaches, Bottlenecks and Analytical Pitfalls.
San EJ, Baichoo S, Kanzi A, Moosa Y, Lessells R, Fonseca V, Mogaka J, Power R, de Oliveira T, Front. Microbiol. (2020),

Quantifying HIV transmission flow between high-prevalence hotspots and surrounding communities: a population-based study in Rakai, Uganda.
Ratmann O, Kagaayi J, Hall M, Golubchick T, Kigozi G, Xi X, Wymant C, Nakigozi G, Abeler-Dörner L, Bonsall D, Gall A, Hoppe A, Kellam P, Bazaale J, Kalibbala S, Laeyendecker O, Lessler J, Nalugoda F, Chang LW, de Oliveira T, Pillay D, Quinn TC, Reynolds SJ, Spencer SEF, Ssekubugu R, Serwadda D, Wawer MJ, Gray RH, Fraser C, Grabowski MK, on behalf of the Rakai Health Sciences Program and the Pangea HIV Consortium, Lancet HIV (2020), S2352-3018(19)30378-9:.

HIV seroconcordance among heterosexual couples in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a population-based analysis.
Kim HY, Harling G, Vandormael A, Tomita A, Cuadros DF, Bärnighausen T, Tanser F, J Int AIDS Soc. (2020), 23(1):e25432. doi: 10.1002/jia2.25432:.


Training of Health Care Workers for COVID-19, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. KRISP, UKZN partner with NDoH to deliver training to 1000s of health care workers in 2020.
By: Dr. Richard Lessells




Genome Detective Coronavirus Typing Too;

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