Author: PLOS Medicine

Introducing a New Look for the Journal Homepages

Today sees the launch of our re-vamped homepages for PLOS Medicine, PLOS Pathogens and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. They’ve been designed to give easy access to all recently published work, and to better incorporate some of the beautiful images that accompany PLOS articles.

Take a look and see what you think:

www.plosmedicine.org

www.plospathogens.org

www.plosntds.org

 

2014-07-29 16_30_08-Medicine mock up

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The Blue Marble Health Collection: Redrawing Boundaries that Disease has Already Crossed

Peter J. Hotez, Co-Editor-in-Chief of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Larry Peiperl, Chief Editor of PLOS Medicine, on a new PLOS Collection that highlights a shift in current thinking about global health.

This week PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS Medicine have joined forces to launch Blue Marble Health: the mismatch between national wealth and population health, the most recent PLOS Collection.

Two key PLOS papers, each published in the fall of 2013, stimulated the genesis of this Blue Marble Health Collection.

The poor living among the wealthy.

Major areas of poverty in the G20 nations and Nigeria, where most of the world’s NTDs occur.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002570.g001

The first, from PLOS NTDs - ”NTDs V.2.0: ‘Blue Marble Health’—Neglected Tropical Disease Control and Elimination in a Shifting Health Policy Landscape” –  found that while some NTDs such as river blindness, loiasis, African sleeping sickness and schistosomiasis are largely or exclusively diseases of sub-Saharan Africa, paradoxically many of the world’s highest concentration of NTDs occur in the 20 wealthiest economies – the group of 20 (G20) countries – especially in the mostly hidden pockets of extreme poverty that can be found in the big middle-income nations, such as Indonesia or in areas of the  BRICS countries, including northeastern Brazil, northern India, and southwestern China.  Moreover, the disease burden from NTDs is alarmingly high in the southern United States, especially in Texas and the Gulf Coast, in areas of Australia with large Aboriginal populations such as the Northern Territories, and Eastern Europe.

A parallel editorial in PLOS Medicine - Poor Health in Rich Countries: A Role for Open Access Journals - noted that relative poverty within a society is a stronger predictor of health than aggregate measures of economic power such as GNP or per-capita income. For example, tens of millions of Americans living in poverty, including many people of color, “experience levels of health that are typical of middle-income or low-income countries.” The editorial concluded that, for many issues that affect the health of people of lower socioeconomic status, clear-cut distinctions between “domestic” and “cross-border” research are becoming increasingly difficult to draw.


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Category: General, NCDs, Neglected Diseases | 1 Comment

Thanks to our peer reviewers in 2013!

As 2014 begins we’d like to thank those who made it possible for the PLOS Medicine Group journals to serve the scientific community and the public in 2013, in particular our dedicated and insightful peer reviewers.  During last year, 663 people reviewed for PLOS Medicine, 2205 for PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and 3008 for PLOS Pathogens. These generous individuals donated their time to ensuring the level of constructive evaluation that researchers rightly expect of peer-reviewed journals. Their combined efforts enabled the PLOS medical journals (PLOS Medicine, PLOS NTDs and PLOS Pathogens) to publish an outstanding array of papers in 2013, gathering 4107155 online views and 501871 PDF downloads so far!

Thank you, our reviewers, for contributing your knowledge to the Open Access literature. Your critical insight, support, and hard work are indispensable both to our day-to-day operations and to our overall mission.

Image Credit: Ben Fredericson on Flickr

Image Credit: Ben Fredericson on Flickr

We’d also like to draw attention to the folks who have reviewed for the other PLOS journals:

PLOS ONE’s peer reviewers: http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/2014/01/06/thanking-peer-reviewers/

PLOS Biology, PLOS Computational Biology and PLOS Genetics peer reviewers: http://blogs.plos.org/biologue/?p=5003

Thanks again!

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This Week in PLOS Medicine: HIV Transmission during Early Infection, Impact of Police Activities on Drug Users, and Data Sharing in a Humanitarian Organization

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

SoM_Dec_10

Image Credit: Jonathan Gray, Wikimedia Commons

Erik Volz and colleagues use HIV genetic information from a cohort of men who have sex with men in Detroit, USA, to dissect the timing of onward transmission during HIV infection. In particular, it allowed the researchers to estimate that, in the current HIV epidemic in Detroit, 44.7% of HIV transmissions occur during the first year of infection. These findings may not be generalizable to other cities or to other risk groups. Nevertheless, the findings of this analysis have important implications for HIV control strategies based on the early treatment of newly diagnosed individuals. Because relatively few infected individuals are diagnosed during early HIV infection, when the HIV transmission rate is high, it is unlikely, suggest the researchers, that the ‘‘treatment as prevention’’ strategy will effectively control the spread of HIV unless there are very high rates of HIV testing and treatment. In a related Perspective, Tim Hallett reflects on the influence of early HIV infection on disease epidemic dynamics.
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This Week in PLOS Medicine: HIV Transmission during Early Infection, Impact of Police Activities on Drug Users, and Data Sharing in a Humanitarian Organization

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

SoM_Dec_10

Image Credit: Jonathan Gray, Wikimedia Commons

Erik Volz and colleagues use HIV genetic information from a cohort of men who have sex with men in Detroit, USA, to dissect the timing of onward transmission during HIV infection. In particular, it allowed the researchers to estimate that, in the current HIV epidemic in Detroit, 44.7% of HIV transmissions occur during the first year of infection. These findings may not be generalizable to other cities or to other risk groups. Nevertheless, the findings of this analysis have important implications for HIV control strategies based on the early treatment of newly diagnosed individuals. Because relatively few infected individuals are diagnosed during early HIV infection, when the HIV transmission rate is high, it is unlikely, suggest the researchers, that the ‘‘treatment as prevention’’ strategy will effectively control the spread of HIV unless there are very high rates of HIV testing and treatment. In a related Perspective, Tim Hallett reflects on the influence of early HIV infection on disease epidemic dynamics.
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This Week in PLOS Medicine: Insufficient Antimalarial Dosing in Children, Completeness of Trial Reporting, and Increases in Journal Retractions

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

Image credit: Karunakar Rayker, Flickr

Antimalarial drug resistance has hampered malaria control programs for almost 60 years. A key factor in combating this threat is to ensure that all antimalarial drugs are deployed in a way that ensures that the maximum number of patients are completely cured. Ric Price and colleagues pool individual patient data from efficacy trials coordinated by the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN). The results show that, while treatment of malaria with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine generally results in excellent patient recovery, young children are at higher risk of treatment failure and this may be due to their receiving an insufficient dose of the drug. The study also highlights that one third of children aged 1–5 years received a dose of piperaquine below that recommended by the World Health Organisation. Furthermore, patients receiving a lower dose were slower to respond to treatment and had a greater risk of getting malaria again. In a linked Perspective, Paul Garner further discusses dosing issues for artemisinin combination therapy.
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This Week in PLOS Medicine: Insufficient Antimalarial Dosing in Children, Completeness of Trial Reporting, and Increases in Journal Retractions

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

Image credit: Karunakar Rayker, Flickr

Antimalarial drug resistance has hampered malaria control programs for almost 60 years. A key factor in combating this threat is to ensure that all antimalarial drugs are deployed in a way that ensures that the maximum number of patients are completely cured. Ric Price and colleagues pool individual patient data from efficacy trials coordinated by the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN). The results show that, while treatment of malaria with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine generally results in excellent patient recovery, young children are at higher risk of treatment failure and this may be due to their receiving an insufficient dose of the drug. The study also highlights that one third of children aged 1–5 years received a dose of piperaquine below that recommended by the World Health Organisation. Furthermore, patients receiving a lower dose were slower to respond to treatment and had a greater risk of getting malaria again. In a linked Perspective, Paul Garner further discusses dosing issues for artemisinin combination therapy.
Continue reading »

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This Week in PLOS Medicine: Maternal Health Collection, Pharmaceutical Industry, Burden of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic, & Poverty and HIV Stigma

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

Image credit: Jack Zalium, Flickr

The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and PLOS Medicine issue the call for papers for Year 3 of the MHTF-PLOS Collection: Integrating Health Care to Meet the Needs of the Mother–Infant Pair. The MHTF-PLOS collaboration is looking for research and commentary papers that fit the theme. All papers should be submitted to PLOS Medicine, with a clear statement in the cover letter that they are intending to submit to the MHTF-PLOS Collection.

In a systematic review of 15 studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians’ industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority, physicians’ assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists). Most non-physician clinicians across disciplines held favorable views of interactions with sales representatives and industry interactions in general. A minority perceived that industry marketing influenced their own practice, but more felt their colleagues would be influenced. Preparation for industry interactions generally was not a part of professional training.  In a related Perspective, James Yeh and Aaron Kesselheim discuss the steps needed to address the conflicts of interest posed by contact between non-physician providers and the medical products industry. They suggest that because current programs intended to provide transparency about the prevalence of pharmaceutical industry marketing may not reach the non-physician clinician population, institutional policies should be constructed to apply to all providers of patient care.
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This Week in PLOS Medicine: Maternal Health Collection, Pharmaceutical Industry, Burden of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic, & Poverty and HIV Stigma

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

Image credit: Jack Zalium, Flickr

The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and PLOS Medicine issue the call for papers for Year 3 of the MHTF-PLOS Collection: Integrating Health Care to Meet the Needs of the Mother–Infant Pair. The MHTF-PLOS collaboration is looking for research and commentary papers that fit the theme. All papers should be submitted to PLOS Medicine, with a clear statement in the cover letter that they are intending to submit to the MHTF-PLOS Collection.

In a systematic review of 15 studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians’ industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority, physicians’ assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists). Most non-physician clinicians across disciplines held favorable views of interactions with sales representatives and industry interactions in general. A minority perceived that industry marketing influenced their own practice, but more felt their colleagues would be influenced. Preparation for industry interactions generally was not a part of professional training.  In a related Perspective, James Yeh and Aaron Kesselheim discuss the steps needed to address the conflicts of interest posed by contact between non-physician providers and the medical products industry. They suggest that because current programs intended to provide transparency about the prevalence of pharmaceutical industry marketing may not reach the non-physician clinician population, institutional policies should be constructed to apply to all providers of patient care.
Continue reading »

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This Week in PLOS Medicine: AIDS Treatment in Children, Influenza Vaccination Strategies, Patient Safety, and Antimicrobial Resistance in China

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

Image credit: NIAID

Image credit: NIAID, Flickr

Using observational data collected in cohort studies in Southern Africa, Michael Schomaker and colleagues estimate the mortality associated with starting Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) at different CD4 thresholds among children aged 2–5 years. Recent changes to World Health Organization guidelines for starting anti-AIDS drugs in young children are unlikely to improve death rates but may increase the numbers of children receiving ART by simplifying access to treatment. The findings suggest that, among southern African children aged 2–5 years at HIV diagnosis, there was no difference in three year death rates between children in whom ART was started immediately and those in whom starting ART was deferred until their CD4 count and percentage (markers of progression of HIV infection) fell below 750 cells/mm3 and 25% respectively.
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