The PLOS Medicine series on Big Food aims to examine and stimulate debate about the activities and influence of the food industry in global health. We define Big Food as the multinational food and beverage industry with huge and concentrated market power. The series adopts a multi-disciplinary approach and includes critical perspectives from around the world. It represents one of first times such issues have been examined in the general medical literature.
Millennium Development Goal 4 calls for a reduction of two-thirds in the under-5 mortality rate between 1990 and 2015. Reliable estimates of child mortality are critical to the monitoring of progress toward this important goal. The UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) annually reports on country, regional and global trends in child mortality. In this collection of research articles and reviews the independent Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the UN IGME introduces the group's methodological innovations in estimating child mortality.The Collection is produced with support from UNICEF and the TAG of the UN IGME.
In this collection PLOS NTDs highlights the contributions of Indian authors, labs, and institutions to the global fight against neglected tropical diseases. It includes over 40 primary research articles reporting significant advances in the fields of epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, vaccine development and applications, and vector control.
The burden of HIV is heavily disproportionate in sex workers, where the high rates of partner change and their vulnerability increase the likelihood of sexual transmitted infections. This collection presents analyses of the influence of direct and indirect intervention programs aimed at interrupting this high-incidence of infection. Calls are made for a rapid scale-up of combination prevention programs and HIV care and treatment in order to improve conditions for sex workers. Publication of the collection was made possible by the generous financial support of World Bank, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID; Linkages Across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) project cooperative agreement; and Research to Prevention (R2P) Project and Supporting Operational AIDS Research (SOAR).
The January 2012 issue of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases presented an Editorial, a Viewpoint, and two accompanying Expert Commentaries that focussed on the application of genetically modified (GM) insects for control of animal and plant diseases. These articles describe the technological advances these tools represent, the regulatory framework, and the societal dialogue that is necessary for their wide-scale application for disease control. Here, we have assembled a collection of articles published in the PLOS journals that describe the technical and applied aspects of GM insects. We also included articles that are not strictly GM, but aim to modify the disease transmission traits of insects through the use of symbiotic microbes.
Estimates of global health indicators - which give insight into death and disease rates, document advances in development, and help policymakers monitor progress - are absolutely essential for improving global health. Estimates, however, are always imperfect and are sometimes fiercely debated. Recently, new players from academia have entered the game of global health estimation, once the chief domain of United Nations agencies such as WHO. In November 2010, PLOS Medicine published a collection articles from a series of experts that provide insights and opinion on what estimates mean for global health and how to move forward with better data, measurement, coordination, and leadership. The collection includes the perspectives of WHO, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and stakeholders from low- and middle-income countries.
In this PLOS Collection, global health leaders chart the path to a dramatic reduction in the global burden of disease by 2035. This ambitious convergence in global health will require strategic investments in research and development as well as an aggressive scale-up of health-care delivery systems to ensure that existing health tools and services reach those who need them. Grand Convergence: Aligning Technologies and Realities in Global Health describes how to reduce avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels within a generation by aggressively scaling up health tools and continuing to invest in the tools of tomorrow.
In order to revisit the health consequences of the Asian tsunami of December 2004 six months on, PLOS Medicinecommissioned a collection of Magazine articles that were published in April 2005. We later updated this collection to include a new research article and an additional essay of relevance.
The HIV Modelling Consortium aims to strengthen the support that mathematical modelling and related quantitative disciplines can provide to global decision-making in HIV. In November 2011 the HIV Modelling Consortium held a meeting in South Africa to focus on the cross-cutting issues of the impact of new scientific findings about HIV treatment preventing new infections. The group considered the feasibility of interventions, potential epidemiological impact, affordability, and new scientific observational studies and community trials. The nine reviews and one research article which comprise this collection arose from that meeting and provide insights into the factors which will support evidence-based decision-making in HIV prevention, with a focus on the use of antiretroviral treatment to prevent HIV transmission.
This collection presents innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for interventions in this field. Coverage indicators are widely used to assess whether interventions are reaching women and children in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through population-based household surveys. The collection shows that while some indicators can be measured accurately, others may not provide valid results and therefore need further investigation and development. It explores issues around measurement using household surveys, assessment of health inequalities, consideration of survey error, and the generation of indicators for global monitoring, and presents recommendations for transforming the findings of these and previous studies into better measurement, reporting and interpretation of coverage estimates.
Between October 2009 and February 2010 PLOS Medicine published a seven part series of articles proposing "packages of care" for mental, neurological, and substance-use disorders in low- and middle-income countries. In the introduction to the series, Guest Editors Vikram Patel and Graham Thornicroft explain that a large mental health "treatment gap" exists, in which 90% of people with these mental health disorders in the developing world go untreated.
This collection presents a global framework for monitoring progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) conducted by the World Health Organisation and the World Bank Group. UHC is defined as the desired outcome of health system performance whereby all people who need health services promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation receive them without undue financial hardship. These articles demonstrate the essential and interlinked components, explaining how UHC monitoring can be fully integrated into the overall monitoring of health system performance. The technical reviews provide insight into current international consensus around UHC and address issues related to the measurement of financial protection, service coverage, effective coverage, and equity. The case studies each discuss progress towards UHC in the featured countries as written by national experts.
Mycetoma is a serious and debilitating condition that meets all of the criteria we ordinarily attribute to a neglected tropical disease (NTD). Classically, it is a destructive fungal or bacterial infection of the foot (although other body parts can be affected) that results in disfigurement and social stigma. It overwhelmingly occurs in impoverished areas of a mycetoma belt that extends across the globe, roughly between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, with most of the cases reported from India, Mexico, Sudan, several countries in Africas Sahel (including Chad, Mali, and Mauritania), and Somalia and Yemen.
In a commitment to increasing the evidence base for improving child health, PLOS journals publish high-quality, Open Access research and commentary on Pediatric Medicine. Open Access publication ensures this crucial evidence is freely available to read and use throughout the world without restriction. In 2014, PLOS Medicine celebrated a decade of publishing. PLOS Medicine marked the journal's tenth anniversary with a call for research papers on the health and well-being of pre-adolescent children, including 10-year-olds, from around the world. The papers that resulted from this call are included below.
The Council of Science Editors organized a Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development in October 2007. More than 200 science and health journals, including PLOS Medicine, PLOS Biology, and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, participated by publishing new articles.
In several recent PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases papers on rabies marking the third anniversary of World Rabies Day scientists describe the situation of canine rabies control in developing countries, as well as various recent advances in the development of vaccines and treatments that will contribute to the elimination of human deaths from rabies.
More than half of the world's population is at risk of helminthiases, and millions of people are currently infected with one or more helminth species. Consequences of infection include suffering, stigmatization, morbidity, and premature death. These infections are associated with low work productivity, poor cognitive performance, and slow socioeconomic development, thereby contributing to accentuate poverty and inequality.The Disease Reference Group on Helminth Infections (DRG4) put forward a series of reviews that, taken together, outline a compelling research and development (R&D) agenda for the control and elimination of helminth diseases of humans.
In the February 2011 issue of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (PLOS NTDs), Simarro and colleagues report in "The Human African Trypanosomiasis Control and Surveillance Programme of the World Health Organization 2000-2009: The Way Forward" that new cases of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), more familiarly known as sleeping sickness, fell below 10,000 in 2009, perhaps signaling the end to this epidemic cycle. Deputy Editor-in-Chief Serap Aksoy elaborates on this finding in her editorial, titled "Sleeping Sickness Elimination in Sight: Time to Celebrate, Reflect but not Relax." To highlight the existing literature PLOS NTDs authors have contributed to the field, Dr. Aksoy combed the archives to find those articles on HAT that we have published with potential applications for disease control.
When global policymakers address the health and economic impact of the soil-transmitted helminth infections, they generally refer to the "unholy trinity" of ascariasis, hookworm infection, and trichuriasis. However, increasing information suggests that strongyloidiasis is an important fourth soil-transmitted helminthiasis. There are many reasons for the global neglect of strongyloidiasis, not the least of which is the inconvenient truth that there are little or no global burden of disease data for this infection, nor even any accurate accounting for the actual number of people infected. We also know very little about the true geographic distribution of strongyloidiasis. This special collection will help to highlight this somewhat mysterious yet very important neglected tropical disease, its enormous potential global impact on human health, and the urgent need for basic and applied research.
Tsetse flies are important vectors of human and animal diseases that adversely impact life in sub-Sahara Africa. A community of tsetse researchers (International Glossina Genome Initiative) have been working to obtain the full genome sequence of the tsetse species Glossina morsitans morsitans. The group have also mined the genome data to advance knowledge on functional aspects of tsetse and African trypanosome biology. This collection describes findings on tsetse's salivary gland biology, olfactory chemistry, lactation process, acquaporin proteins that play a role in lactation, oxidative stress responses during pregnancy, gut peritrophic matrix analysis and horizontal transfer events discovered in tsetse's genome from the symbiont Wolbachia. Further manuscripts reflect on the historical aspects of sleeping sickness epidemics that have plagued sub-Sahara in the 20th century.