Loa Loa is a microfilaria that infects a substantial part of the population in West Africa, particularly Cameroon; > 10M people are believed to be infected worldwide. As part of an NIH/Gates Foundation effort to eradicate Loa Loa, we have developed a mobile-phone-based microscope assay which allows for rapid, automated determination of the microfilarial load in a patient’s blood, thus allowing for appropriate treatment decisions. This system will receive secondary testing at NIH this winter, with possible deployment as part of the eradication effort in 2013.
Cellscope images of microfilariae from 30,000 mf/ml sample, blood lysed with H2O. Note visibility of microfilariae in lower left blow-up. Clumping of microfilariae in right blow-up image.
UCB: Dr. Mike D’Ambrosio, Matt Balakar, Prof. Dan Fletcher, Dr. Lina Nilsson, Clay Reber, Neil Switz
NIH: Dr. Thomas Nutman (NIH)