BOSTON (SHNS) – Cambridge-based Biobot Analytics emerged as a player in the COVID-19 pandemic with reports documenting COVID-19 threat levels based on wastewater analysis. The company’s footprint has expanded and is now extending.
Biobot announced Wednesday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended for six months its partnership with Biobot through the National Wastewater Surveillance System to bring COVID-19 and mpox (formerly monkeypox) wastewater analysis to communities across the country.
As part of the national surveillance system, Biobot contributes data from more than 400 locations in more than 250 counties across the country, providing coverage for 60 million people. Biobot tests each location for the viruses that cause mpox and COVID-19, and conducts genomic sequencing to identify COVID-19 variants.
“As the availability of clinical data decreases, wastewater monitoring has become a more reliable indicator of COVID-19 prevalence and provides local officials with a better understanding of viral spread in their communities,” said Newsha Ghaeli, Biobot President & Cofounder. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with CDC and lay the groundwork for future program expansion into other infectious diseases and beyond.”
Locally, the MWRA has partnered with Biobot to test sewage for signs of the coronavirus, meant to serve as an early warning system for spikes in COVID-19 activity. The Middlesex Jail & House of Correction was also the first county correctional facility in the nation to partner with Biobot for COVID-19 monitoring purposes. The extension will run through the end of July 2023.