Automated image analysis to improve bead ingestion toxicity test counts in the protozoan Tetrahymena pyriformis

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AimsTo improve bead ingestion counts in Tetrahymena pyriformis by automated image analysis as an alternative to direct-counts.Methods and ResultsFluorescent latex beads were added to T. pyriformis cultures for ingestion tests. The number of beads ingested by 25 cells was counted directly by epifluorescence microscopy and compared with similar data from image analysis. ANOVA indicated that counts were not significantly different (P < 0·05). The image analysis particularly provided advantages in terms of speed.ConclusionsThe image analysis is superior to direct beads counting in T. pyriformis particularly in terms of speed of analysis.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe image analysis method is very rapid and will allow many more toxicological analyses to be undertaken with less operator error.

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