Software to Identify and Quantify Pathogenic Helminth Eggs
Blanca Jimenez Cisneros of Mexican Autonomous National University in Mexico will develop software to automatically identify and quantify parasitic helminth eggs in wastewater. The software could provide a rapid and low-cost method for untrained personnel to test wastewater before its reuse in agriculture, thereby reducing parasitic infections in local populations. In Phase I, Cisneros generated an image database of a variety of common helminth species and developed an algorithm that could effectively identify helminth eggs from seven different species in two different water quality conditions. In Phase II, she will expand the image database to cover more species, and upgrade the software protocol to identify eggs in water with higher solid contents, such as fecal sludge and excreta. Cisneros will also develop a simple software platform and a strategy for worldwide distribution to both low- and high-income countries.