Tuberculosis Sputum Smear Microscopy

Automated Detection of Mycobacteria

  • 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.


Automated Sputum Smear Microscopy

Metafer1 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 Metafer1 Mycobacteria Scanner* Auramine or Ziehl-Neelsen stained mycobacteria 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.

Fully Networked

Metafer1 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 Metafer1 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.

Metafer1 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.

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1 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 diagnostic use. In Europe MetaSystems products are CE labelled in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) devices. In the USA all MetaSystems products except the Ikaros karyotyping systems are intended to be used for research or inspection only.