Of all bacterial infectious diseases, infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis poses one of the highest morbidity and mortality burdens on humans throughout the world. [...] Here we validate a scanning and analysis system that combines fully-automated microscopy with deep-learning based image analysis.
Tuberculosis Sputum Smear Microscopy
Automated Detection of Acid-Fast Bacteria
- Fully Networked
- At Reduced Costs
- On a Highly Versatile Platform
Rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis infection is critical for initiation of treatment and control of the disease. Sputum smear microscopy (SSM) of acid fast bacilli is still the most common TB diagnostic test globally because of its simplicity and associated low costs. However, manual reading of stained slides is time-consuming and result quality may be influenced by factors like user proficiency. The implementation of the Metafer platform for automated high-resolution and sensitive slide scanning and analysis can significantly improve SSM workflows, reduce labor costs and increase cost-effectiveness.
Metafer is a scalable microscopy automation platform, able to scan and analyze 8 to 800 slides in one batch according to the individual needs of the laboratory. With the Metafer Mycobacteria Scanner* Auramine or Ziehl-Neelsen stained acid-fast bacteria are detected and counted automatically using objective and reproducible criteria. Images can be reviewed immediately on the scanning workstation or at decentralized review stations within the laboratory or hospital network.
Metafer can be fully integrated in existing laboratory information systems (LIS) for import and export of data. Moreover, images can be transmitted using a variety of file formats to encourage interdisciplinary case discussions or for use in online trainings.
At Reduced Costs
Automated slide scanning and image analyses speeds up SSM, hence increasing sample throughput. Technicians freed from tedious manual slide screening can use the time saved for other laboratory activities. Additionally, standardized and reproducible SSM could be employed in a low-cost Triage protocol to select samples which would benefit from subsequent confirmatory tests like nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs).
On a Highly Versatile Platform
The automation and analysis capabilities of Metafer reach far beyond sputum smear microscopy. Further microbiological applications include automated reading of Gram stains and Direct Multiplex Imaging (DMI) for direct microscopic detection and differentiation of pneumonia-causing bacteria and of pathogens in positive blood cultures.
Metafer applications in other areas include Clinical Cytogenetics, Cancer Genetics and Cell Biology, Forensics, Pathology and Tissue Imaging, and Toxicology and Radiation Biology.
For a list of our reference customers, please click here.