Automatic identification of intestinal parasites in reptiles using microscopic stool images and convolutional neural networks

Carla Parra, Felipe Grijalva, Bryan Núñez, Alejandra Núñez, Noel Pérez, Diego Benítez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Captive environments trigger the propagation and multiplication of parasites among different reptile species, thus weakening their immune response and causing infections and diseases. Technological advances of convolutional neural networks have opened a new field for detecting and classifying diseases which have shown great potential to overcome the shortcomings of manual detection performed by experts. Therefore, we propose an approach to identify six captive reptiles parasitic agents (Ophionyssus natricis, Blastocystis sp, Oxiurdo egg, Rhytidoides similis, Strongyloides, Taenia) or the absence of such parasites from a microscope stool images dataset. Towards this end, we first use an image segmentation stage to detect the parasite within the image, which combines the Contrast Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization (CLAHE) technique, the OTSU binarization method, and morphological operations. Then, we carry out a classification stage through MobileNet CNN under a transfer learning scheme. This method was validated on a stool image dataset containing 3616 images data samples and 26 videos from the six parasites mentioned above. The results obtained indicate that our transfer learning-based approach can learn a helpful representation from the dataset. We obtained an average accuracy of 94.26% across the seven classes (i.e., six parasitic agents and the absence of parasites), which statistically outperformed, at a 95% confidence level, a custom CNN trained from scratch.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0271529
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number8 August
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

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