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Evaluation of a Mobile Phone-Based Microscope for Screening of Schistosoma haematobium Infection in Rural Ghana

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  • 1 Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • | 2 Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • | 3 Electrical and Bioengineering Departments, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
  • | 4 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.
  • | 5 Volta River Authority, Accra, Ghana.
  • | 6 Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

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 Schistosoma haematobium 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.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Isaac I. Bogoch, Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Toronto General Hospital, 14EN-209, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 2C4, E-mail: isaac.bogoch@uhn.ca or Aydogan Ozcan, Electrical and Bioengineering Departments, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, E-mail: ozcan@ucla.edu.

Financial support: IIB is supported by Grand Challenges Canada 0631-01-10 (www.grandchallenges.ca) and a grant from the MSH UHN AMO Innovation Fund.

Authors' addresses: Isaac I. Bogoch, Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada, E-mail: isaac.bogoch@uhn.ca. Hatice C. Koydemir, Derek Tseng, and Aydogan Ozcan, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, E-mails: hceylan@ucla.edu, delike@gmail.com, and ozcan@ucla.edu. Richard K. D. Ephraim and Evans Duah, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana, E-mails: rephraim@ucc.edu.gh and evans.duah@stu.ucc.edu.gh. Joseph Tee, Volta River Authority Corp, Accra, Ghana, E-mail: tjoseph_2001@yahoo.co.uk. Jason R. Andrews, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, E-mail: jandr@stanford.edu.

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