Eliminating worm infectionsin sub-saharan africa and enabling the who's road map 2021-2030

A Virtual Assessment Tool for the Microscopic Examinations of Parasites: eWHORM Partner EMC Collaborates with the EQUALM Virtual Microscopy Platform Initiative

In order to enhance the skills of the technicians involved in the eWHORM clinical trials, the consortium aims at implementing a virtual training platform for both microscopical analysis and quality control. The easy-to-use virtual training tool is expected to upgrade the inspection of blood samples by microscopy for the detection of parasites. Since the start of the project, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam (EMC), the lead of eWHORM Work Package 5, has been working on this ambitious task. The team initiated their work by conducting a survey among all partners of the eWHORM project. The survey included the following topics: which specimens are examined by microscopy in LMIC (Low and Middle-Income Countries), which concentration and staining techniques are used before microscopic examination, and on which parasite groups microscopic examination is focused. EMC decided to start collaborating with the European Organization for External Quality Assurance Providers in Laboratory Medicine (EQALM), which has already developed a virtual microscopy platform (EQALM-VM) for EQA purposes. In a joint effort, the existing EQAS software has then been adapted for eWHORM training purposes to detect and identify parasites. Tutorials will subsequently be included along with screenshots and short videos, allowing trainees to work on detailed and complex images, which show larger areas of clinical specimens with multiple stages and/or parasite species.

This learning tool will allow detailed and continuous feedback, facilitating better preparedness and response for future epidemics and pandemics.

The video directed by EMC depicts the process of detecting and identifying these parasites can be seen here.