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antimicrobial resistance citizen science clinical microbiology publication research tuberculosis

New publication: BashTheBug works!

Yesterday eLife published the first paper from our citizen science project, BashTheBug, which was launched in April 2017 on the Zooniverse platform. (Update on 19 July 2022: the final formatted version of the paper has been posted on eLife).

Through BashTheBug we asked for volunteers to classify images of M. tuberculosis growing on a range of concentrations of 13 different antibiotics. The images were derived from photographs of 96-well plates taken after two weeks incubation by the CRyPTIC tuberculosis project. Each image is shown up to 17 times to different volunteers so we can obtain a consensus.

In total the volunteers did over 4.7 million classifications, and by examining a subset of images, this paper determines how best to obtain the consensus and how reproducible and accurate the crowd of volunteers are.

Photograph of 96-well plate collected by the CRyPTIC project and the CRyPTIC partner laboratories who contributed images to this study.

By Philip Fowler

Philip W Fowler is a computational biophysicist studying antimicrobial resistance working at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

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