wrmXpress: A modular package for high-throughput image analysis of parasitic and free-living worms
Author summary Advances in automated microscopy have led to the proliferation of high-throughput experimental techniques to screen drugs for activity against parasitic worms, which infect billions of people around the world. Most of the software available to analyze high-content microscopy datasets is optimized for cell lines and is rarely applicable for images of parasitic worms. Applications that have been designed with worms in mind often focus on single phenotypes, such as worm motility or mortality, and are not built for extension to other phenotypic outputs. We have developed wrmXpress, a software package that provides a unified framework for analyzing a wide variety of worm phenotypes, including neuromuscular activity, fecundity, mortality, development/size, and feeding. wrmXpress can analyze images and videos produced by multiple imaging platforms and is open source, written in popular interpreted computer languages with extension in mind, providing a foundation for collaborative efforts that produce novel phenotypes and require bespoke software development.