January Reading Group Paper: NTDs vs. Research Effort

Happy Friday, Everyone!

As promised, I am posting our first monthly paper for the 2019 Parasite Ecology Reading Group! I’m going to lead this first paper, and the paper I picked is:

Furuse Y. Analysis of research intensity on infectious disease by disease burden reveals which infectious diseases are neglected by researchers. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018; 201814484. doi:10.1073/pnas.1814484116

I was able to see the full text in HTML format by clicking “View Full Text”, so hopefully everyone has access, regardless of library affiliation.

Give the paper a read and share your comments/questions/cartoons in the comments section on this post or on Twitter! I’ll incorporate them into my post at the end of the month.

Please remember our Rules of Engagement:

  • DO ask questions if you do not understand some aspect of the paper.
  • DO say nice things about the paper: tell us why you think the results are important, wax eloquent on your favorite figure, etc.
  • DO share your cartoons/scribbles, puns, poems, etc. that were inspired by the paper. As long as they’re respectful and PG-13, I’ll post all of them!
  • DO pick papers that everyone will enjoy and/or benefit from reading, which is especially likely if you pick readable papers from relatively high impact journals.
  • DO respectfully engage with the rest of the community; help us answer questions and have lively discussions!
  • DO NOT criticize the papers, even if you do it “in a nice way”. I will delete any blog comments that negatively assess any aspect of any paper (study design, stats, conclusions, etc.). I don’t have the power to delete your Twitter comments, but I will ask you to stop participating. You are welcome to share your critical thoughts elsewhere, but this blog is not a venue for bashing peer-reviewed literature.

4 thoughts on “January Reading Group Paper: NTDs vs. Research Effort

  1. This is a really interesting paper which I read with attention as an infectious diseases doctor and a researcher. I don’t know if there already was a tool such as the BARI which seems to me not only important but also necessary in order to assess infectious diseases research policies.

    It raises many questions:
    – Is it legitimate to tell that some infectious diseases (such as TB, HIV, HepC) are too much studied ? Probably not since the burden of a disease is not only represented by DALYs, but also by social perception, economical consequences, etc.
    – Are research resources well distributed among researchers ? One could develop the same kind of tool using amounts of money invested in research in place of the number of publications regarding specific infectious diseases. Some research are more expensive than others, so is the average cost of each article the same for all the infectious diseases ?
    – What is a NTD ? I heard someone say that NTDs are diseases that affect neglected people. Indeed, this particular terminology has been recently questioned (https://www.statnews.com/2019/01/04/neglected-diseases-vaccine-development/) and this article shows that some NTDs are not neglected by researchers.
    – What is the risk of concentrating most efforts on high burden diseases for global knowledge ? Diversity in research thematics probably favors serendipity.

    My personal opinion is that BARI is an important tool for studying research politics in sociological and historical point of views, but I don’t think that it should be used to elaborate future research policies since each ID is much more than just DALYs.

  2. Pingback: What is a neglected tropical disease? | Parasite Ecology

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