As the pandemic starts to clear, infection control and microbiology labs are finally getting a chance to examine what was learned about healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) during the pandemic. One learning is that at least some types of HAIs such as central line-associated bloodstream infections have been remarkably persistent.

But another learning for many has been the power of strain tracking using sequencing. A number of clinical labs have added sequencing capabilities to address COVID strain identification and with this newly acquired capability, there is no better time to think about bringing whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to HAI transmission investigations. WGS is the most accurate and comprehensive method available to determine relatedness between different isolates and the best practice for making high-stakes decisions when facing suspected outbreaks.

If you are one of these labs, you are more than halfway to making HAI outbreak detection a staple in your lab. All you need to do is add a robust computational pipeline. While there are a few options available, we find that most off-the-shelf pipelines are lacking in resolution and homegrown pipelines can sometimes get led astray by complex issues like recombination events.

We at DZD, have been offering a best-in-class HAI detection service called epiXact®. This service is based on WGS and our proprietary computational pipeline, with a turn-around time of less than 2 days. Now that you have your own sequencing capabilities, you can sequence your isolates in-house and upload the sequencing data to our servers for computational analysis, at significantly reduced prices. We can provide you with a definitive, easy-to-understand report on the same day. Of course, our turnkey service which includes sequencing is also still available if needed.

What differentiates epiXact from other WGS services is our rapid, automated pipeline that uses best-in-class methods to determine species ID, Multilocus Sequence Type (MLST), and SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) analysis providing resolution down to the single nucleotides between samples. But that is just the beginning, there are so many things that make epiXact unique…

If you would like to learn more about epiXact please contact us.