Primary health care deals with health problems that occur mainly in resource-limited regions in developing and emerging countries. HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis still devastate individuals, families, and even entire communities. Primary health care requires instruments that are used directly to deliver help to where it is needed most, focusing on patients in remote areas and far from large cities who cannot be reached by existing health services.
Conventional light microscopy of Ziehl-Neelsen-stained smears prepared directly from sputum specimens is the most widely available test for detecting tuberculosis (TB) in resource-limited settings. Ziehl-Neelsen microscopy is highly specific, but its sensitivity is variable (20 to 80%) and is significantly reduced in patients with extrapulmonary TB and in HIV-infected TB patients. Conventional fluorescence microscopy is more sensitive than Ziehl-Neelsen and takes less time, but its use has been limited by the high cost of mercury vapor light sources, the need for regular maintenance and the requirement for a dark room.
Light-emitting diodes (LED) have been developed to offer the benefits of fluorescence microscopy without the associated costs. In 2009, the evidence for the efficacy of LED microscopy was assessed by the World Health Organization (WHO), based on standards appropriate for evaluating both the accuracy and the effect of new TB diagnostics on patients and public health. The results showed that the accuracy of LED microscopy with Auramine O staining was equivalent to that of international reference standards, it was more sensitive than conventional Ziehl-Neelsen microscopy, and it had qualitative, operational and cost advantages over both conventional fluorescence and Ziehl-Neelsen microscopy.
Malaria as well as African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, are insect-borne parasitic diseases that are widespread in developing and emerging countries. Both of these diseases cause hundreds of thousands of deaths per year when untreated. The parasites are usually identified in a patient’s blood film using a compact, upright microscope with brightfield contrast. The most common staining methods are the Giemsa, Romanowski or the Leishman stain of the blood smear.
Lightweight, compact, portable and easy-to-use microscopes with an independent power supply, a robust light source and climate-protected optics are requirements for reliable help wherever it is needed.
ZEISS Primo Star iLED
Primo Star iLED is your fluorescence microscope to quickly detect tuberculosis and other tropical diseases. You can easily and reliably detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis either using brightfield with a Ziehl-Neelsen staining or fluorescence excitation with Auramine O dye. Primo Star iLED allows you to switch easily between the two modes. Working in the field, you have the option of working in brightfield with a mirror and sunlight. Ergonomic eyecups keep ambient light out so that you get high-contrast fluorescence images even without a darkroom. In remote areas with fluctuating or no electricity, use your Primo Star iLED’s battery pack. An anti-fungal treatment is applied to all optical components to prevent fungal growths. Primo Star iLED is the result of a joint project with the Swiss Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics (FIND). As a customer from one of the country’s most heavily affected by tuberculosis, Primo Star iLED is available to you at a particularly low price.
Flexible, Complete Solution for Testing Tuberculosis
ZEISS Primo Star 3
Primo Star 3 is designed with long-term use and extreme durability in mind. You can use either a 30-watt halogen bulb or energy-saving LED illumination with its stable color temperature and illumination intensity. The built-in carrying handle lets you move the microscope safely. Use the handy battery supply unit in areas with luctuating electricity or none at all.
ZEISS Axiolab 5
Axiolab 5 is made for the clinical routine work that goes on every day in your lab. The white LED illumination with very high color rendering index is ideal to visualize all kinds of samples such peripheral blood smears in true color. Benefit from all the advantages of LED illumination such as low energy consumption and long lifetime (>60.000 h). The constant color temperature of the LED and the light manager facilitates system operation and digital documentation. All applications in brightﬁeld, darkﬁeld, phase contrast or ﬂuorescence can be readily performed. Axiolab 5 is robust, puts strong emphasis on ergonomic features, and all optics are anti-fungus treated. Combine Axiolab 5 with the microscope camera Axiocam 208 color and take full advantage of the smart microscopy concept: you'll be experiencing a completely new form of digital documentation in your daily clinical routine - even without a PC.
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