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Trends in malaria research in 11 Asian Pacific countries: an analysis of peer-reviewed publications over two decades.

Andersen F, Douglas NM, Bustos D, Galappaththy G, Qi G, Hsiang MS, Kusriastuti R, Mendis K, Taleo G, Whittaker M, Price RN, von Seidlein L - Malar. J. (2011)

Bottom Line: The percentage of malaria-related publications was nearly 3% (111/3741) of all biomedical publications in 1992 and decreased to less than 1% (118/12171; p < 0.001) in 2009.The proportion of malaria-related publications out of the overall biomedical output from the 11 target Asian-Pacific countries is decreasing.The discovery and evaluation of new, safe and effective drugs and vaccines is paramount.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Global Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia.

ABSTRACT

Background: Quantitative data are lacking on published malaria research. The purpose of the study is to characterize trends in malaria-related literature from 1990 to 2009 in 11 Asian-Pacific countries that are committed to malaria elimination as a national goal.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted for articles published from January 1990 to December 2009 in PubMed/MEDLINE using terms for malaria and 11 target countries (Bhutan, China, North Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vanuatu). The references were collated and categorized according to subject, Plasmodium species, and whether they contained original or derivative data.

Results: 2,700 articles published between 1990 and 2009 related to malaria in the target countries. The annual output of malaria-related papers increased linearly whereas the overall biomedical output from these countries grew exponentially. The percentage of malaria-related publications was nearly 3% (111/3741) of all biomedical publications in 1992 and decreased to less than 1% (118/12171; p < 0.001) in 2009. Thailand had the highest absolute output of malaria-related papers (n = 1211), followed by China (n = 609) and Indonesia (n = 346). Solomon Islands and Vanuatu had lower absolute numbers of publications, but both countries had the highest number of publications per capita (1.3 and 2.5 papers/1,000 population). The largest percentage of papers concerned the epidemiology and control of malaria (53%) followed by studies of drugs and drug resistance (47%). There was an increase in the proportion of articles relating to epidemiology, entomology, biology, molecular biology, pathophysiology and diagnostics from the first to the second decade, whereas the percentage of papers on drugs, clinical aspects of malaria, immunology, and social sciences decreased.

Conclusions: The proportion of malaria-related publications out of the overall biomedical output from the 11 target Asian-Pacific countries is decreasing. The discovery and evaluation of new, safe and effective drugs and vaccines is paramount. In addition the elimination of malaria will require operational research to implement and scale up interventions.

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Percentage of articles relating to Plasmodium vivax (Pv), falciparum (Pf) or both species by country*. *ROK = Republic of Korea, DRRK = Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Bhutan provided 2 data points and is not shown.
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Figure 7: Percentage of articles relating to Plasmodium vivax (Pv), falciparum (Pf) or both species by country*. *ROK = Republic of Korea, DRRK = Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Bhutan provided 2 data points and is not shown.

Mentions: The proportions of papers on P. vivax and P. falciparum are shown in Figure 6. The proportion of all articles associated with P. falciparum decreased from 67% (661/980) in the first decade to 56% (703/1242) in the second (p < 0.001). In contrast, the proportion of articles associated with P. vivax fluctuated between 22% and 38%, with no major change from the first decade (30%, 296/980) to the second (32%, 403/1242; p = 0.5). In only two countries (North Korea 89%; 42/47 and South Korea 81%; 98/121) did the majority of malaria-related papers deal with P. vivax and not with P. falciparum. Malaria-related articles not explicitly relating to either species increased from 22% (215/980) in the 1990's to an average of 29% (361/1242) in the second decade (p < 0.001). This group of publications mostly included papers on molecular mechanisms, entomology and insecticides but also the less frequently encountered human Plasmodium sp. (ovale, malariae, knowlesi). Overall there were more publications on P. falciparum compared with P. vivax (Figure 7), with the total ratio being 1.95 P. falciparum related articles for every P. vivax article (95%CI 1.89 to 2.00). The trend of P. falciparum articles being dominant was apparent within each subject, with the exception of Social Sciences/Health Policy, where the proportion of articles that did not relate specifically to either Plasmodium species was higher than the proportion that did. The majority of articles describing clinical trials related to P. falciparum (85%; 260/307). But the proportion of publications describing clinical trials relating to P. falciparum decreased steadily over the two decades from 89% (62/70) between 1990 and 1995 to 81% (52/64) between 2005 and 2009 (p = 0.2) In contrast the percentage of publications describing clinical studies relating to P. vivax or neither species remained stable.


Trends in malaria research in 11 Asian Pacific countries: an analysis of peer-reviewed publications over two decades.

Andersen F, Douglas NM, Bustos D, Galappaththy G, Qi G, Hsiang MS, Kusriastuti R, Mendis K, Taleo G, Whittaker M, Price RN, von Seidlein L - Malar. J. (2011)

Percentage of articles relating to Plasmodium vivax (Pv), falciparum (Pf) or both species by country*. *ROK = Republic of Korea, DRRK = Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Bhutan provided 2 data points and is not shown.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3118956&req=5

Figure 7: Percentage of articles relating to Plasmodium vivax (Pv), falciparum (Pf) or both species by country*. *ROK = Republic of Korea, DRRK = Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Bhutan provided 2 data points and is not shown.
Mentions: The proportions of papers on P. vivax and P. falciparum are shown in Figure 6. The proportion of all articles associated with P. falciparum decreased from 67% (661/980) in the first decade to 56% (703/1242) in the second (p < 0.001). In contrast, the proportion of articles associated with P. vivax fluctuated between 22% and 38%, with no major change from the first decade (30%, 296/980) to the second (32%, 403/1242; p = 0.5). In only two countries (North Korea 89%; 42/47 and South Korea 81%; 98/121) did the majority of malaria-related papers deal with P. vivax and not with P. falciparum. Malaria-related articles not explicitly relating to either species increased from 22% (215/980) in the 1990's to an average of 29% (361/1242) in the second decade (p < 0.001). This group of publications mostly included papers on molecular mechanisms, entomology and insecticides but also the less frequently encountered human Plasmodium sp. (ovale, malariae, knowlesi). Overall there were more publications on P. falciparum compared with P. vivax (Figure 7), with the total ratio being 1.95 P. falciparum related articles for every P. vivax article (95%CI 1.89 to 2.00). The trend of P. falciparum articles being dominant was apparent within each subject, with the exception of Social Sciences/Health Policy, where the proportion of articles that did not relate specifically to either Plasmodium species was higher than the proportion that did. The majority of articles describing clinical trials related to P. falciparum (85%; 260/307). But the proportion of publications describing clinical trials relating to P. falciparum decreased steadily over the two decades from 89% (62/70) between 1990 and 1995 to 81% (52/64) between 2005 and 2009 (p = 0.2) In contrast the percentage of publications describing clinical studies relating to P. vivax or neither species remained stable.

Bottom Line: The percentage of malaria-related publications was nearly 3% (111/3741) of all biomedical publications in 1992 and decreased to less than 1% (118/12171; p < 0.001) in 2009.The proportion of malaria-related publications out of the overall biomedical output from the 11 target Asian-Pacific countries is decreasing.The discovery and evaluation of new, safe and effective drugs and vaccines is paramount.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Global Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia.

ABSTRACT

Background: Quantitative data are lacking on published malaria research. The purpose of the study is to characterize trends in malaria-related literature from 1990 to 2009 in 11 Asian-Pacific countries that are committed to malaria elimination as a national goal.

Methods: A systematic search was conducted for articles published from January 1990 to December 2009 in PubMed/MEDLINE using terms for malaria and 11 target countries (Bhutan, China, North Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vanuatu). The references were collated and categorized according to subject, Plasmodium species, and whether they contained original or derivative data.

Results: 2,700 articles published between 1990 and 2009 related to malaria in the target countries. The annual output of malaria-related papers increased linearly whereas the overall biomedical output from these countries grew exponentially. The percentage of malaria-related publications was nearly 3% (111/3741) of all biomedical publications in 1992 and decreased to less than 1% (118/12171; p < 0.001) in 2009. Thailand had the highest absolute output of malaria-related papers (n = 1211), followed by China (n = 609) and Indonesia (n = 346). Solomon Islands and Vanuatu had lower absolute numbers of publications, but both countries had the highest number of publications per capita (1.3 and 2.5 papers/1,000 population). The largest percentage of papers concerned the epidemiology and control of malaria (53%) followed by studies of drugs and drug resistance (47%). There was an increase in the proportion of articles relating to epidemiology, entomology, biology, molecular biology, pathophysiology and diagnostics from the first to the second decade, whereas the percentage of papers on drugs, clinical aspects of malaria, immunology, and social sciences decreased.

Conclusions: The proportion of malaria-related publications out of the overall biomedical output from the 11 target Asian-Pacific countries is decreasing. The discovery and evaluation of new, safe and effective drugs and vaccines is paramount. In addition the elimination of malaria will require operational research to implement and scale up interventions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus