Clear Labs, known for its next-generation sequencing automation workflow solutions, announces the launch of the Clear Dx Microbial Surveillance WGS, a fully automated, end-to-end whole genome sequencing (WGS) solution for bacterial and fungal isolates. This application aims to set a new standard for speed, efficiency, and simplicity in pathogen characterization.

Clinicians and public health professionals rely on genomic data to identify and manage outbreaks and antimicrobial resistance, but the existing methods are labor-intensive and time-consuming, hampering effective action. With Clear Dx Microbial Surveillance WGS, Clear Labs helps labs address this challenge by providing a turnkey solution that automates the entire WGS process for up to 12 microbial isolates in just 27 hours. This represents a substantial time reduction compared to traditional manual workflows, and the new Clear Labs product requires only minutes of hands-on time.

“Clear Labs is dedicated to empowering our customers with the tools they need to identify and combat pathogens in their communities and institutions,” says Sasan Amini, PhD, co-dounder and CEO of Clear Labs. “Microbial Surveillance WGS enables near real-time outbreak identification, as opposed to days or weeks later. This could translate into faster intervention, fewer illnesses, better patient outcomes, and reduced economic burden.”

Laboratories contribute to federally funded sequencing initiatives that require strict submission and acceptance criteria. Clear Labs’ technology aligns seamlessly with these initiatives, conforming to existing standards and facilitating a smooth transition from a manual workflow to a fully automated workflow. Amini adds, “Proper funding and advanced technology can help clinicians and public health authorities effectively combat emerging infections. Microbial infections affect millions of people annually and cost the country billions of dollars each year. By filling a critical gap in the equation, we believe our solution can make a substantial impact.”

The Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) has been a long-term collaborator of Clear Labs on the Clear Dx System and was excited to help validate the new Microbial Surveillance WGS solution. “Staff at the Nebraska laboratory welcomed the opportunity to work with Clear Labs early in the pandemic and was very interested in expanding the collaboration to include a fully automated workflow for bacterial WGS,” says Dr Pete Iwen, director of the NPHL. “The rapid time to result and ease of use enables our lab to get more sequencing done much faster, which provides our stakeholders with actionable information that positively impacts public health.”

Clear Labs’ Microbial Surveillance WGS represents a significant advancement in the field of pathogen characterization, offering enhanced speed, automation, and accuracy. With this solution, Clear Labs continues to advance whole genome sequencing and empower laboratories to safeguard health more efficiently than ever before.

The Clear Dx Microbial Surveillance WGS solution provides:

  • Sample-to-answer, End-to-end Automation: Eliminate manual handling and time-consuming processes. With Clear Dx, labs benefit from fully automated library preparation and management, including cDNA synthesis, target amplification, indexing, and nucleic acid clean-up. This automation ensures greater accuracy and consistency in sample processing.
  • Simplified WGS Workflow: Clear Dx simplifies the entire whole genome sequencing workflow, minimizing hands-on time to about 30 minutes. Unlike existing manual WGS workflows that require several dozen touch points, Clear Dx requires one touch point and significantly reduces the complexity and manual intervention, enabling operators to perform whole genome sequencing with minimal training required.
  • Faster Results: Time is of the essence. With Clear Dx technology, labs can expect faster results, with a turnaround time of just a single day compared to the several days (sometimes weeks) required by traditional methods. Rapid sequencing enables you to obtain critical genomic data quickly, empowering timely decision-making.
  • Improved Consistency and Accuracy: Clear Dx automation eliminates human variability and ensures uniformity throughout the sequencing process, leading to reliable and reproducible results.
  • Decreased Labor Costs and Increased Lab Productivity: Clear Dx optimizes a lab’s efficiency by reducing manual labor and reducing time required for repetitive tasks.

Whole genome sequencing of pathogenic isolates has many applications in a broad range of settings, including hospital labs, public health labs, and commercial laboratories: “A rapid, fully automated whole genome sequencing platform can help epidemiologists, infection control specialists, microbiologists to more quickly identify antimicrobial resistant organisms and understand if they have an outbreak on their hands,” says Amini. “We believe hospitals can save money, avoid penalties, and improve patient outcomes with this technology.”

Additionally, Clear Labs aims to aid the battle against antimicrobial resistance, another major initiative within the clinical and public health communities. “The identification of antimicrobial resistance signatures is critical to understanding how these organisms are evolving, exchanging genetic information, and informs our use and development of antibiotics, which are becoming increasingly less effective,” says Amini. “Our platform can deliver those insights much more quickly and more importantly in an actionable timeframe.”