Semi-automatic detection of the evolutionary forms of visceral leishmaniasis in microscopic blood smears





Salazar, J
Vera, M
Huérfano, Y
Vera, M I
Gelvez-Almeida, E
Valbuena, O

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IOP Publishing


Leishmaniasis is a complex group of diseases caused by obligate unicellular and intracellular eukaryotic protozoa of the leishmania genus. Leishmania species generate diverse syndromes ranging from skin ulcers of spontaneous resolution to fatal visceral disease. These syndromes belong to three categories: visceral leishmaniasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis and mucosal leishmaniasis. The visceral leishmaniasis is based on the reticuloendothelial system producing hepatomegaly, splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. In the present article, a semiautomatic segmentation strategy is proposed to obtain the segmentations of the evolutionary shapes of visceral leishmaniasis called parasites, specifically of the type amastigote and promastigote. For this purpose, the optical microscopy images containing said evolutionary shapes, which are generated from a blood smear, are subjected to a process of transformation of the color intensity space into a space of intensity in gray levels that facilitate their subsequent preprocessing and adaptation. In the preprocessing stage, smoothing filters and edge detectors are used to enhance the optical microscopy images. In a complementary way, a segmentation technique that groups the pixels corresponding to each one of the parasites, presents in the considered images, is applied. The results reveal a high correspondence between the available manual segmentations and the semi-automatic segmentations which are useful for the characterization of the parasites. The obtained segmentations let us to calculate areas and perimeters associated with the parasites segmented. These results are very important in clinical context where both the area and perimeter calculated are vital for monitoring the development of visceral leishmaniasis.


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