A novel algorithm for detection of tuberculosis bacilli in sputum smear fluorescence images

Erwin Dianderas, Christian del Carpio, Mirko Zimic, Patricia Sheen, Jorge Coronel, Roberto Lavarello, Guillermo Kemper


This work proposes an algorithm aimed at recognizing and accounting Koch bacilli in digital images of microbiological sputum samples stained with auramine, in order to determine the degree of concentration and the state of the disease (tuberculosis). The algorithm was developed with the main objective of maximizing the sensitivity and specificity of the analysis of microbiological samples (recognition and counting of bacilli) according to each preparation method (direct and diluted pellets) in order to reduce the subjectivity of the visual inspection applied by the specialist at the time of analyzing the samples. The proposed algorithm consists of a background removal, an image improvement stage based on consecutive morphological closing operations, a segmentation stage of objects of interest based on thresholdization and a classification stage based on SVM. Each algorithmic stage was developed taking into account the method of preparation of the sample to be processed, being this aspect the main contribution of the proposed work, since it was possible to achieve very satisfactory results in terms of specificity and sensitivity. In this context, sensitivity levels of 91.24% and 93.79% were obtained. Specificity levels of 90.33% and 94.85% were also achieved for direct and diluted pellet methods respectively.


Baciloscopy; Fluorescence; Image processing; Sputum smear; Tuberculosis

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijece.v10i6.pp5665-5677

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International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering (IJECE)
p-ISSN 2088-8708, e-ISSN 2722-2578

This journal is published by the Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science (IAES) in collaboration with Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama (IPMU).