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In Parasites & vectors ; h5-index 57.0

BACKGROUND : Fecal examinations in pet cats and dogs are key components of routine veterinary practice; however, their accuracy is influenced by diagnostic methodologies and the experience level of personnel performing the tests. The VETSCAN IMAGYST system was developed to provide simpler and easier fecal examinations which are less influenced by examiners' skills. This system consists of three components: a sample preparation device, an automated microscope scanner, and analysis software. The objectives of this study were to qualitatively evaluate the performance of the VETSCAN IMAGYST system on feline parasites (Ancylostoma and Toxocara cati) and protozoan parasites (Cystoisospora and Giardia) and to assess and compare the performance of the VETSCAN IMAGYST centrifugal flotation method to reference centrifugal and passive flotation methods.

METHODS : To evaluate the diagnostic performance of the scanning and algorithmic components of the VETSCAN IMAGYST system, fecal slides were prepared by the VETSCAN IMAGYST centrifugal flotation technique with pre-screened fecal samples collected from dogs and cats and examined by both an algorithm and parasitologists. To assess the performance of the VETSCAN IMAGYST centrifugal flotation technique, diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were calculated and compared to those of conventional flotation techniques.

RESULTS : The performance of the VETSCAN IMAGYST algorithm closely correlated with evaluations by parasitologists, with sensitivity of 75.8-100% and specificity of 93.1-100% across the targeted parasites. For samples with 50 eggs or less per slide, Lin's concordance correlation coefficients ranged from 0.70 to 0.95 across the targeted parasites. The results of the VETSCAN IMAGYST centrifugal flotation method correlated well with those of the conventional centrifugal flotation method across the targeted parasites: sensitivity of 65.7-100% and specificity of 97.6-100%. Similar results were observed for the conventional passive flotation method compared to the conventional centrifugal flotation method: sensitivity of 56.4-91.7% and specificity of 99.4-100%.

CONCLUSIONS : The VETSCAN IMAGYST scanning and algorithmic systems with the VETSCAN IMAGYST fecal preparation technique demonstrated a similar qualitative performance to the parasitologists' examinations with conventional fecal flotation techniques. Given the deep learning nature of the VETSCAN IMAGYST system, its performance is expected to improve over time, enabling it to be utilized in veterinary clinics to perform fecal examinations accurately and efficiently.

Nagamori Yoko, Sedlak Ruth Hall, DeRosa Andrew, Pullins Aleah, Cree Travis, Loenser Michael, Larson Benjamin S, Smith Richard Boyd, Penn Cory, Goldstein Richard


Ancylostoma, Cyst, Cystoisospora, Deep learning, Fecal egg identification, Giardia, Oocyst, Toxocara cati, Veterinary parasitology diagnostic