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Brazil and India boost tropical disease research

Brazil and India have experienced most growth in research into neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), says a study by Thomson Reuters published on 20 June.

‘The Global Research Report: Neglected Tropical Diseases’ says global published research output has doubled from 2,500 papers in 1992 to over 5,000 papers in 2011.

Even though most NTD research papers have an author from one of the G7 industrialised countries, Brazil and India have a strong presence: they are among the four countries most frequently represented, along with the US and UK.

In 2011, there were more papers on neglected tropical diseases with an author or co-author from Brazil than from the UK.

More than one billion people are infected with one or more NTDs and more than half a million die each year from their infections. Despite this, the total research output is still significantly less than that of “first world” diseases such as cancer, with 85,000 papers published, and coronary artery disease with 15,000 papers, says the report.

The study says that dengue research has grown sharply in the past decade, nearly tripling in output between 2002 and 2011.

The study was conducted by the intellectual property and science division of Thomson Reuters.