Bacteria identification from microscopic morphology: a survey



Written by Noor Amaleena Mohamad, Noorain Awang Jusoh, Zaw Zaw Htike and Shoon and Lei Win

Published in the International Journal on Soft Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Applications (IJSCAI), Vol.3, No. 2, May 2014



Great knowledge and experience on microbiology are required for accurate bacteria identification. Automation of bacteria identification is required because there might be a shortage of skilled microbiologists and clinicians at a time of great need. There have been several attempts to perform automatic background identification. This paper reviews state-of-the-art automatic bacteria identification techniques. This paper also provides discussion on limitations of state-of-the-art automatic bacteria identification systems and recommends future direction of automatic bacteria identification.


Bacteria Identification, Cocci,Bacilli, Vibrio, Naïve Bayes, Machine Learning


Bacteria, which are prokaryotic microorganisms, are the most abundant and simplest organisms in the world as we know it. Prokaryotes do not possess a nucleus and complex organelles. Because most prokaryotes range in size less than ten micrometers (μm), microscopes are used to study bacteria. Bacteria identification is very important in microbiology and pathology as it serves a basis of understanding diseases. Due to this, various types of methods have been introduced to classify bacteria in microbiology. Clinicians and microbiologists commonly employ the typing schemes which are dependent on the phenotypic typing schemes to develop the bacterial morphology and staining properties of the organism. Vectors, environmental reservoir of organism and pathogen’s ways of transmission is important for the clinicians. Therefore, it is extremely essential to perform bacteria classification such that the said information can be obtained. On the other hand, scientists who are interested in microorganisms’ evolution are getting more interested in taxonomic techniques which permit the comparison of highly conserved genes among dissimilar species. Therefore, computerized techniques are required for this task [21-37].

The most basic technique used for classifying bacteria is based on the bacterium's shape and cell arrangement. The most ordinary shapes of bacteria include rod, cocci (round), and spiral forms. Cellular arrangements occur singularly, in series, and in groups. Some species have one to numerous projections called flagella which enable the bacteria to swim and move. Cocci or coccus for a single cell are round cells, occasionally flattened when being adjacent to each other. Cocci bacteria can exist individually, in pairs, in groups of four, in chains, in clusters or in cubes consisting of eight cells. Bacilli are rod-shaped bacteria which also can occur individually, (...). Read the rest of the publication here.

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Mohamed HAMZA