Tuberculosis Sputum Smear Microscopy

Automated Detection of Acid-Fast Bacteria

  • Fully networked.
  • At reduced costs.
  • With a highly versatile software.

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 based imaging system for automated high-resolution and sensitive slide scanning and analysis can significantly improve SSM workflows, reduce labor costs and increase cost-effectiveness.


Automated Smear Microscopy

The imaging system managed by the Metafer software scans and analyzes 8 to 800 slides in one batch according to the individual needs of the laboratory. Auramine or Ziehl-Neelsen stained bacteria are detected and counted automatically using objective and reproducible criteria. Images can be reviewed immediately on the local workstation or at decentralized review stations within the laboratory or hospital network.

Fully Networked

The Metafer software 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 training.

At Reduced Costs

Automated slide scanning and imaging 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).

With a Highly Versatile Software

The automation 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 microscopy 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.

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Legal Note

MetaSystems software and system products are classified as in vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVD) in the European Union in accordance with In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation (EU) 2017/746 or In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Directive 98/79/EC, respectively, and carry the CE label unless otherwise indicated. Use all MetaSystems IVD products only within the scope of their intended purpose.

MetaSystems products are used in many countries worldwide. Depending on the regulations of the respective country or region, some products may not be used for clinical diagnostics.

Some hardware components supplied by other manufacturers are not included in MetaSystems IVD products and are therefore not IVD medical devices.

MetaSystems software provides, among other functions, features to assist users with image processing. These include, but are not limited to, the use of machine and deep learning algorithms for pattern recognition. The output generated in this process should be regarded as preliminary suggestions and, in any case, mandatorily requires review and assessment by trained experts.

MetaSystems offers Customization Packages for application workflows that have been successfully implemented for customer labs using standard Metafer platform functionality. It is expected that they can be implemented for other customer labs using similar workflows and slide preparation procedures. If a Customization Package is purchased, MetaSystems product specialists will - based on their experience from other similar application cases - support the customer lab in adapting the Metafer software configuration to their needs. The performance of the solution will depend on the quality of the customer slides and the expertise of the users, MetaSystems cannot specify or guarantee any performance parameters. The validation of the solution for clinical use is the sole responsibility of the customer lab.

Please contact us for further information.