Volume 96, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Schistosomiasis affects over 170 million people in Africa. Here we compare a novel, low-cost mobile phone microscope to a conventional light microscope for the label-free diagnosis of infections in a rural Ghanaian school setting. We tested the performance of our handheld microscope using 60 slides that were randomly chosen from an ongoing epidemiologic study in school-aged children. The mobile phone microscope had a sensitivity of 72.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 56.1–84.2), specificity of 100% (95% CI: 75.9–100), positive predictive value of 100% (95% CI: 86.3–100), and a negative predictive value of 57.1% (95% CI: 37.4–75.0). With its modest sensitivity and high specificity, this handheld and cost-effective mobile phone–based microscope is a stepping-stone toward developing a powerful tool in clinical and public health settings where there is limited access to conventional laboratory diagnostic support.


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  • Received : 19 Nov 2016
  • Accepted : 13 Feb 2017
  • Published online : 27 Mar 2017

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