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Quantitative Evaluation of a Handheld Light Microscope for Field Diagnosis of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection

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  • Divisions of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California; Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Public Health Laboratory Ivo de Carneri, Chake, Chake, Pemba Island, Tanzania; Department of Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom

We evaluated the Newton Nm1, a commercially available handheld light microscope and compared it with conventional light microscopy for the diagnosis of soil-transmitted helminth infections. A total of 91 Kato-Katz thick smears were examined by experienced microscopists and helminth eggs were counted and expressed as eggs per gram of stool (EPG). Mean egg counts were significantly higher with the conventional light microscope (5,190 EPG versus 2,386 EPG for Ascaris lumbricoides; 826 versus 456 for Trichuris trichiura; both P < 0.05). Using regression coefficients and accounting for intensity of infection, we found that the agreement between the two devices was excellent for both species (κ = 0.90, 95% confidence interval = 0.82–0.99 for A. lumbricoides and κ = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.91–1.00 for T. trichiura). The Newton Nm1 microscope may be a useful tool for the detection and quantification of soil-transmitted helminth infection in clinical, epidemiologic, and public health settings.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Isaac I. Bogoch, Divisions of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Toronto General Hospital, 14th Floor, EN-209, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5G 2C4. E-mail: isaac.bogoch@uhn.ca

Financial Support: Jennifer Keiser is grateful to the Swiss National Science Foundation (No. 320030_149310) for financial support.

Authors' addresses: Isaac I. Bogoch, Divisions of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada, E-mail: isaac.bogoch@uhn.ca. Jason R. Andrews, Department of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, E-mail: jasonandr@gmail.com. Benjamin Speich, Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, E-mail: benjamin.speich@unibas.ch. Shaali M. Ame and Said M. Ali, Public Health Laboratory, Ivo de Carneri, Chake Chake, Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania, E-mails: shaaliame@yahoo.com and saidmali2003@yahoo.com. J. Russell Stothard, Department of Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK, E-mail: russell.stothard@lstmed.ac.uk. Jürg Utzinger, Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland, E-mail: juerg.utzinger@unibas.ch. Jennifer Keiser, Jennifer Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland, E-mail: jennifer.keiser@unibas.ch.

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