Utilising low-cost, easy-to-use microscopy techniques for early peritonitis infection screening in peritoneal dialysis patients

Mark Buckup, Janelle M. Kaneda, Alisha M. Birk, Eleanor Glockner, Ross Venook, Aditya Jain, Shuchita Sharma, Cynthia Wong, Ken Sutha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients are at high risk for peritonitis, an infection of the peritoneum that affects 13% of PD users annually. Relying on subjective peritonitis symptoms results in delayed treatment, leading to high hospitalisation costs, peritoneal scarring, and premature transition to haemodialysis. We have developed and tested a low-cost, easy-to-use technology that uses microscopy and image analysis to screen for peritonitis across the effluent drain tube. Compared to other technologies, our prototype is made from off-the-shelf, low-cost materials. It can be set up quickly and key stakeholders believe it can improve the overall PD experience. We demonstrate that our prototype classifies infection-indicating and healthy white blood cell levels in clinically collected patient effluent with 94% accuracy. Integration of our technology into PD setups as a screening tool for peritonitis would enable earlier physician notification, allowing for prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent hospitalisations, reduce scarring, and increase PD longevity. Our findings demonstrate the versatility of microscopy and image analysis for infection screening and are a proof of principle for their future applications in health care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14046
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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