Mapping of Chagas disease research: analysis of publications in the period between 1940 and 2009
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AbstractINTRODUCTION: Publications are often used as a measure of success in research work. Chagas disease occurs in Central and Southern America. However, during the past years, the disease has been occurring outside Latin America due to migration from endemic zones. This article describes a bibliometric review of the literature on Chagas disease research indexed in PubMed during a 70-year period. METHODS: Medline was used via the PubMed online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine from 1940 to 2009. The search strategy was: Chagas disease [MeSH] OR Trypanosoma cruzi [MeSH]. RESULTS: A total of 13,989 references were retrieved. The number of publications increased steadily over time from 1,361 (1940-1969) to 5,430 (2000-2009) (coefficient of determination for linear fit, R²=0.910). Eight journals contained 25% of the Chagas disease literature. Of the publications, 64.2% came from endemic countries. Brazil was the predominant country (37%), followed by the United States (17.6%) and Argentina (14%). The ranking in production changed when the number of publications was normalized by estimated cases of Chagas disease (Panama and Uruguay), population (Argentina and Uruguay), and gross domestic product (Bolivia and Brazil). CONCLUSIONS: Several Latin American countries, where the prevalence of T. cruzi infection was not very high, were the main producers of the Chagas disease literature, after adjusting for economic and population indexes. The countries with more estimated cases of Chagas disease produced less research on Chagas disease than some developed countries.