Quantitative evaluation of a handheld light microscope for field diagnosis of soil-transmitted helminth infection.
Bogoch II., Andrews JR., Speich B., Ame SM., Ali SM., Stothard JR., Utzinger J., Keiser J.
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.