Touching Mycobacterium tuberculosis objects in the Ziehl-Neelsen stained sputum smear images present different shapes and invisible boundaries in the adhesion areas, which increases the difficulty in objects recognition and counting. In this paper, we present a segmentation method of combining the hierarchy tree analysis with gradient vector flow snake to address this problem. The skeletons of the objects are used for structure analysis based on the hierarchy tree. The gradient vector flow snake is used to estimate the object edge. Experimental results show that the single objects composing the touching objects are successfully segmented by the proposed method. This work will improve the accuracy and practicability of the computer-aided diagnosis of tuberculosis.
This paper realizes the automatic segmentation and classification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with conventional light microscopy. First, the candidate bacillus objects are segmented by the marker-based watershed transform. The markers are obtained by an adaptive threshold segmentation based on the adaptive scale Gaussian filter. The scale of the Gaussian filter is determined according to the color model of the bacillus objects. Then the candidate objects are extracted integrally after region merging and contaminations elimination. Second, the shape features of the bacillus objects are characterized by the Hu moments, compactness, eccentricity, and roughness, which are used to classify the single, touching and non-bacillus objects. We evaluated the logistic regression, random forest, and intersection kernel support vector machines classifiers in classifying the bacillus objects respectively. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method yields to high robustness and accuracy. The logistic regression classifier performs best with an accuracy of 91.68%.