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Table of Contents

February 2008

The cover image this month comes from a unique collaborative study that found evidence that fake antimalarial drugs are being manufactured in China, prompting a criminal investigation (Newton, et al. e32). The image is of a hologram copy of one of the fake artesunate drugs; in Figure 2 of the study, a fake hologram can be seen under UV light. Most of the fakes contained no artesunate. Many contained wrong active ingredients, including banned pharmaceuticals such as metamizole and the carcinogenic drug safrole. Some contained dangerously small amounts of artesunate: enough to foil screening tests, too low to treat malaria, yet high enough to encourage the spread of malaria parasites resistant to the medicine. The study involved the international police organization INTERPOL and led to the arrest of a gang in Yunnan, China, alleged to be responsible for producing almost half of the counterfeit artesunate in Southeast Asia.

Surveillance of another kind is debated in this issue (Chandramohan, et al. e57): demographic surveillance, the process of monitoring birth, deaths, causes of deaths, and migration in a population over time. The proprietorial, managerial, and financial obstacles to the sharing of demographic surveillance data are discussed. As the editorial for the issue points out, PLoS ONE is one venue for making such data freely and publicly available.

Image Credit: Figure 2C from Newton PN, Fernández FM, Plançon A, Mildenhall DC, Green MD, et al.

The PLoS Medicine Debate

Should Data from Demographic Surveillance Systems Be Made More Widely Available to Researchers?

Daniel Chandramohan, Kenji Shibuya, Philip Setel, Sandy Cairncross, Alan D Lopez, Christopher J. L Murray, Basia Żaba, Robert W Snow, Fred Binka

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Policy Forum

Soft Targets: Nurses and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Annemarie Jutel, David B Menkes

Research Articles

A Collaborative Epidemiological Investigation into the Criminal Fake Artesunate Trade in South East Asia

Paul N Newton, Facundo M Fernández, Aline Plançon, Dallas C Mildenhall, Michael D Green, Li Ziyong, Eva Maria Christophel, Souly Phanouvong, Stephen Howells, Eric McIntosh, Paul Laurin, Nancy Blum, Christina Y Hampton, Kevin Faure, Leonard Nyadong, C. W. Ray Soong, Budiono Santoso, Wang Zhiguang, John Newton, Kevin Palmer

An Autopsy Study of Maternal Mortality in Mozambique: The Contribution of Infectious Diseases

Clara Menéndez, Cleofé Romagosa, Mamudo R Ismail, Carla Carrilho, Francisco Saute, Nafissa Osman, Fernanda Machungo, Azucena Bardaji, Llorenç Quintó, Alfredo Mayor, Denise Naniche, Carlota Dobaño, Pedro L Alonso, Jaume Ordi

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The Fall and Rise of US Inequities in Premature Mortality: 1960–2002

Nancy Krieger, David H Rehkopf, Jarvis T Chen, Pamela D Waterman, Enrico Marcelli, Malinda Kennedy

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Lifetime Medical Costs of Obesity: Prevention No Cure for Increasing Health Expenditure

Pieter H. M van Baal, Johan J Polder, G. Ardine de Wit, Rudolf T Hoogenveen, Talitha L Feenstra, Hendriek C Boshuizen, Peter M Engelfriet, Werner B. F Brouwer

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Improvement in Survival after Paraquat Ingestion Following Introduction of a New Formulation in Sri Lanka

Martin F Wilks, Ravindra Fernando, P. L Ariyananda, Michael Eddleston, David J Berry, John A Tomenson, Nicholas A Buckley, Shaluka Jayamanne, David Gunnell, Andrew Dawson

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Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration

Irving Kirsch, Brett J Deacon, Tania B Huedo-Medina, Alan Scoboria, Thomas J Moore, Blair T Johnson

Mechanisms of GII.4 Norovirus Persistence in Human Populations

Lisa C Lindesmith, Eric F Donaldson, Anna D LoBue, Jennifer L Cannon, Du-Ping Zheng, Jan Vinje, Ralph S Baric

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Prevention of Rectal SHIV Transmission in Macaques by Daily or Intermittent Prophylaxis with Emtricitabine and Tenofovir

J. Gerardo García-Lerma, Ron A Otten, Shoukat H Qari, Eddie Jackson, Mian-er Cong, Silvina Masciotra, Wei Luo, Caryn Kim, Debra R Adams, Michael Monsour, Jonathan Lipscomb, Jeffrey A Johnson, David Delinsky, Raymond F Schinazi, Robert Janssen, Thomas M Folks, Walid Heneine

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The Limits and Intensity of Plasmodium falciparum Transmission: Implications for Malaria Control and Elimination Worldwide

Carlos A Guerra, Priscilla W Gikandi, Andrew J Tatem, Abdisalan M Noor, Dave L Smith, Simon I Hay, Robert W Snow

An Erythroid Differentiation Signature Predicts Response to Lenalidomide in Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Benjamin L Ebert, Naomi Galili, Pablo Tamayo, Jocelyn Bosco, Raymond Mak, Jennifer Pretz, Shyam Tanguturi, Christine Ladd-Acosta, Richard Stone, Todd R Golub, Azra Raza

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CD36 Deficiency Leads to Choroidal Involution via COX2 Down-Regulation in Rodents

Marianne Houssier, William Raoul, Sophie Lavalette, Nicole Keller, Xavier Guillonneau, Barbara Baragatti, Laurent Jonet, Jean-Claude Jeanny, Francine Behar-Cohen, Flavio Coceani, Daniel Scherman, Pierre Lachapelle, Huy Ong, Sylvain Chemtob, Florian Sennlaub