Malaria vs. Healthy Blood


After playing around with the foldscope, and photographing through it with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Which I highly recommend for this use), I came across some tricks to make shooting easier. Using a light box to illuminate the slide was a good choice as it ensured even illumination. Also, rather than using the focus rings on the foldscope, I found that securing the foldscope down to the light box and then lifting the phone slowly worked well for focusing. This device, the foldscope, really intrigued me. I played around with prepared slides such as the telia at low mag and found that having dense, colored stains help with finding something to focus on; stained botanical slides work very well as subjects for the foldscope. But, what else is great about this portable device is that it can be used without staining in the field for diagnosis purposes as seen in the following images:

Malaria-infected blood with priority to documenting gametocytes at Low Mag:



Malaria-infected blood with priority to documenting gametocytes at High Mag:


Healthy Blood at High Mag:


Healthy Blood at Low Mag:


One Comment Add yours

  1. Mike Osthoff says:

    Sorry, don’t know your name, just heard about Foldscope when I came across this particular website.
    Hard to comment too much about your slides without more technical details.
    Malarial parasites are normally found within
    the red cells of course and large gametocytes may cause the RBC to expand when present.
    If the slides have been stained with a Romanowsky preparation, ( Usually Giemsa, or Giemsa with Jenner or May-Grunwald stain.) then the bluish objects are likely to be white cells, ( Neutrophils,
    lymphocytes, monocytes etc.) as these objects are too large to be gametocytes.
    If the slides are unstained, then the bluish objects will be just artifactual.( bits of crud )
    You are very unlikely to see any malarial parasites without staining the blood smear.

    Best Wishes,

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