Tag Archives: JIDC

TB Talk: Good news for Mycobacteriologists in developing countries by Amber

Staying with the Theme of the month TB, here is Amber’s pick for January 2012.  Her pick comes from the November 2011 Issue of JIDC entitled “The stability of human, bovine and avian tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD),” by Maes et al.  With the challenges in the current state of Global TB, this is a great article that tackles a controversial issue in the TB field, TB diagnosis.

Alyson

 

TB Talk: Good news for Mycobacteriologists in developing countries

Has the WHO’s stop TB strategy made progress?  Is TB completely eradicated? Has there been groundbreaking research in anti-TB drug development? hmmmm………

Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not entirely positive, but an interesting piece of research that was published in the November issue of JIDC shows that we are on the right track in these areas. “The stability of human, bovine and avian tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD)” by Maes et al. describes the antigenic stability of the purified protein derivatives (PPDs) of Mycobacterium when exposed to extreme temperature variations. PPDs are used for the tuberculin skin test, which is the only reliable method for the diagnosis of latent TB infection (LTBI). Although new TB-specific detection methods based on interferon gamma release have been introduced recently as an alternative test, due to its cost effectiveness and easy applicability, the tuberculin test is still widely used. However, concerns are raised about the traditional test’s low specificity and instability during long storage and transportation in the field.

Maes et al. evaluated the antigenic stability of human and bovine preparations of tuberculin PPDs which were exposed at different temperatures in TB-sensitized guinea pigs and Gertrudis cows respectively.   By comparing the stability of PPD preparations stored at 37oC for one month or at 100oC for an hour to those which were stored in standardized conditions, the research team demonstrated that undoubtedly clears the air about the clinical use of tuberculin skin test particularly in developing countries where it is hard to comply with the standard storage conditions.  The main conclusion was that the tuberculin PPD remained stable and was able to be stored or transported for long periods without refrigeration even in unfavorable temperatures.1

LTBI significantly contributes to the high incidence rate of TB disease in developing countries. Serious TB control measures have been taken up by the WHO; however, the efforts are largely affected by the poor or late diagnosis of LTBI cases which results in the delayed treatment and consequently the eventual development of active TB disease.  In this situation, I would say that the investigation by Maes et al is definitely encouraging for TB-sicians or TB-tists from developing countries.

Isn’t it good!!!  Oh I think you need more . . .  this was just an appetizer . . .

JIDC has a lot to offer you.  Check out the special January issue dedicated to TB and I will be back with more interesting reviews 😉

Talk talk . . . TB talk!

-Amber

Reference List

 

  (1)    Maes M, Gimenez JF, D’Alessandro A, De Waard JH. The stability of human, bovine and avian tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD). J Infect Dev Ctries 2011;5:781-785.

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Filed under Amber, Infectious Disease, People, Tuberculosis

Goodbye 2011 and Hello New Science Year 2012: JIDC Postcards 2011- a Wrap-up

Good Bye 2011.  Hello New Science Year! Its 2012!  I hope everyone had a fabulous 2011 and rang in 2012 with a (big) bang!

There is so much a new year brings, especially in science. A new year with many possibilities. New conferences to attend (yeah!). Papers to publish. Exciting projects to start.  And new posts to write for the JIDC Blog!

To move forward in a guided direction I often feel we need to review the past.  What conferences were attended?  Were they beneficial? What papers were we able to publish last year? Were they well received? What are the stages of the current projects? Are they close to a publication? Are they close to completion?

And here at the JIDC Blog, what were the posts on the Blog over the last year?  Were they helpful to readers and authors? Did they promote scientific discussion? Were the Blog and the Blog Posts a good resource for research information? – This was my main goal when starting the JIDC Blog.  My hope was that the Blog would be useful to JIDC readers and authors alike as an information resource as well as a point for discussions.  I also hoped that it would be a valuable tool for non-JIDC members and help educate new people about JIDC.

So shall we review?

There is a blog tradition that I have only just learned about.  The tradition is that the first post of the New Year should be a listing of all the first sentences from the first post of every month from the previous year.

Below is a listing of all of the first Posts of every month in 2011 and the first sentences from each.  I have also added my personal notes from each post.

Here we go…

June 2011 — JIDC Postcards: The JIDC Blog

Hi, and welcome to JIDC’s blog. 

I was sooo excited…and nervous to introduce the Blog to the JIDC community and the world.  Would anyone read it? Would anyone like it?  Would it be a Blog that we could be proud of? Only you can answer these questions for me. 

 

July 2011 – Olga:  From Mozambique to Brazil

A Challenge!! An Opportunity!!

My name is Olga André Chichava, and I’m a young biologist fromMozambique!

I absolutely loved this post from Olga. Her story gave an incredible view into the life of a research student who is also a mother.  I was inspired to see her courage to move to a foreign country and her drive to build her masters project.   She shared her passion for research as well as life with us. This post was featured on the headlines of Microbiology Daily, I was so proud. Also, this post is the most popular post on the Blog.

 

August 2011 – Milliedes in Kashmir,India

Insects have been found in Marrhama, a village in Blok Trehgam in the District of Kupwara Jammu and Kashmir, India. The main water source used for drinking purposes is badly affected by the insects.

This post from Dr. Kadri highlighted problems that affect regional areas which can easily go unnoticed to the rest of the world.  I am so glad that he shared this experience so that more people can be aware of such difficulties that face communities. This is the second most popular post of all time on the Blog and I am happy that it has reached so many people!

 

September 2011 – The First Annual Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection

The Africa Health Research Organization, AHRO, presents the International Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection

What: First International Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection
When: 6-7 January 2012
Where: Edinburgh Scotland
Who: Presented by AHRO,Africa Health Research Organization

It was great to post about this conference.  Since the conference was just completed, I hope that everything went well and it was a successful event.  Also, I would love to hear a roundup of the conference by anyone who attended.  Please contact me if you are interested in writing a Blog Post describing this meeting.

 

October 2011 – And the winner is…! JIDC Open Access Week#4

And the winner is….I just couldn’t help it.  I have enjoyed Open Access Week and the JIDC T-shirt give-away that I could not just draw only 1 name.  So I picked 6!

Ooooo this was an exciting one.  I was incredibly happy to share JIDC and the JIDC T-shirts with readers and authors! If you are a winner and you haven’t contacted me and would still like at T-shirt, please let me know.

 

November 2011 – Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC

How do I publish a scientific paper?…This question is asked by all young scientists. 

How do you write a scientific paper? There are so many directions one can take when putting their research together. I hope this helped authors organize themselves when preparing manuscripts for JIDC.  In addition to this Post, if you have other specific questions about writing a paper or you have a particular writing topic you would like to see a post about, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  I am currently preparing a post how I write a scientific paper to share with you.

 

December 2011 – ReR – MedToday!

Memento te hominem esse. – Remember that you are human.

What an important point that is! Remember you are human. We are all vulnerable and delicate aren’t we? I am so happy to have posted the special work of ReR-MedToday! The importance of support during times of ill health can’t be overstated. I am sure the families touched by this organization are forever grateful.

 

Thats a Wrap! 

So that’s the JIDC Blog for 2011.  I hope 2012 brings just as fabulous Posts and discussions as 2011 did.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Posts and Discussion of the 2011 JIDC Blog!  In no particular order, BIG THANKS to:

IRIN and Jane Summ

Olga Andre Chichava

Prof. Jorg Heukelbach

Anna Carolina Ritter

Laboratory of Food Microbiology of the ICTA/UFRGS

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Dr. Vinod Singh

USAID

David Dorherty

Joanne Wong

Dr. S.M. Kadri

Open Access and Open Access Week

SPARC

PLoS

Donna Okubo

Dr. Amber Farooqui

Jain et al., JIDC 2011

Dr. Abubaker Yaro

Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

1st International Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection

The Grandest Challenge

Dr. Abdallah S. Daar

Dr. Peter A. Singer

Sun et al., JIDC 2011

Amedei et al., JIDC 2011

Elios et al., JIDC 2011

Jeff Coombs

Tracy Zao

Ashish Chandra Shrestha

Sara Norris

Christopher Logue

Sunita Pareek

Marie Anne Chattaway

Chimwemwe Mandalasi

Jane-Francis Akoachere

University of Buea, Cameroon

Nikki Kelvin

Tribaldos et al., JIDC 2011

Dr. Lorelei Silverman

Dr. Rosalind Silverman

Models of Human Diseases

Loredana

University Hospital of Hue, Vietnam

University of Sassari

Dr. Le Van An

Dr. Tran

Prof. Piero Cappuccinelli

Remi Eryk Raitza

ReR-MedToday!

SmileKenya

Drake Current

Current Family

Dr. Myo Nyein Aung

School of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok

And a spceial thanks to Prof. Salvatore Rubino for his support of the Blog!

Reflecting on the 2011 Blog has shown me I have lots more science to cover! It has also spiked my curiosity.  What was your favorite Post of 2011?  What about your Favorite JIDC Postcard? Was there a topic that you enjoyed reading about or a Postcard that you could identify with? Let me know. I love to hear from you!

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From Thailand! The transformation of a clinician into a researcher

This fabulous story comes from Dr. Myo Nyein Aung a clinical researcher who worked at the Bangkok School of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand. Here Dr. Aung describes how he developed his research ideas and write-up as a manuscript Observation of genotype C infected chronic hepatitis B patients in clinical practice which is now published in the December 2011 Issue of JIDC.  

I love this story. It highlights the importance of scientific organization of research data as well as the value of presenting your work to your peers.  By formulating your own data for presentations it forces one to view their work from other perspectives, including as a reviewer. This view-point can lead to new developments in the thesis and paths to follow. 

Thank you so much Dr. Myo Aung for sharing your story.

Alyson    

The brief story of clinical research at Trop-Med, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Writing this paper for the JIDC reminded me of my times at the School of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok. This was the place and time where I was transformed into a clinical researcher.

Building a Story!

I still remember my advisor asking me to make PowerPoint presentations of the longitudinal data of all the cases I had worked on. To plot everything—viral load, ALT, AFP and genotype—in a single slide for all cases was not an easy job. It took me one week. Finally, after a Monday clinic, we met to view and discuss the slides together. During the discussion, many topics were covered. This was where I thought of the idea for my research article that is now published in JIDC.  It was during that discussion!

My adviser Associate Professor Dr. Wattana Leowattana while I am defending my thesis

What was my Research Question? – The Search

Every Monday I would go to the liver clinic at Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bangkok. It was a very special clinic with many hepatitis B and C patients. Here I searched for my research question by reading many up-to-date articles and seeing patients every week. Many areas were interesting to explore in the clinical research of hepatitis B.  It took me almost one year to get the research question. 

Building the Story – I didn’t do it alone!

I did not collect the data in the patient’s record charts all myself. I had two research assistants who could speak English as well as I spoke Thai.  They were very helpful. With their assistance, we scanned hundreds of chronic hepatitis B medical charts to screen the eligibility criteria. We explored the old archived laboratory records to get the very first viral load of the patients. We faced many kinds of challenges to accomplish this research. Importantly, this work began my training for international collaborations and dealing with study site hospitals. Research in clinical practice taught me far more than that I learned in epidemiology and research methodology classes.

2008-2009 batch students of MSc and PhD tropical medicine international class , at the Wai Khru Day ceremony of Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand

All the ideas were overwhelming at the time of writing the protocol and paper. The balance of ideas and feasibility would determine how quickly we could do research and how well it could be accomplished. My advisors and I were strict on eligibility criteria. The samples were difficult to collect. Time was limited. Funds were gone. I had to defend my thesis. I had to write my manuscript.

The Finished Manuscript

My paper describes  genotype C chronic hepatitis B as we see and treat the patients at the hepatitis clinic every follow-up. Moreover, I wanted to point out the carcinogenic potential of the most prevalent genotype in Thailand. We worked out many of the caveats including adjusting for sample size.  A scientifically sound hypothesis was generated. There were many cycles of rejections and resubmissions, reanalysis and amendment. Finally I could present my ideas and my work through the Journal of Infection in Developing Countries. Thank you, JIDC.

With my same batch and junior class mates at JITMM, Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting, 2009: Molecular scientists (ladies) and clinical researchers ( gentle men)

Sincerely,

Dr. Myo Nyein Aung

Dr. Myo Nyein Aung

My name is Dr. Myo Nyein Aung.
I am a Myanmar doctor. I was born in Magway, a central city in Myanmar.
I studied for my MD at Mandalay, second capital of Myanmar.
I was taught to be a clinical researcher at Bangkok School of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand. This paper is the third paper I could publish within six months of my research-based Master. My JIDC blog post is about the idea generation and process of doing my research at School of Tropical Medicine. Currently, I am working as international collaborative researcher, author, reviewer and editorial in medical journals.

Happy New Year 2009 at Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand

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“Dig A Little Deeper!” — Lessons from Disney

Every Monday morning, we have a lab meeting/journal club.  The PhD students take turns delivering a  presentation each week. The presentations  alternate weekly between discussing a paper and a review of the PhD student’s progress on his or her project.  Before the formal meeting begins, we have a round table for short up-dates of the non-presenting students’ projects.

This week, the student  did an excellent job as he up-dated us on the current state of his project.  He had previously reported a result that we had thought we had fully analyzed – but that was not all to the story.  After reading additional published papers, this student went on to provide an alternative analysis and hypothesis for the result. 

I was very excited and interested to hear about this new perspective.  I was also happy to see students “thinking outside the box” – that is, not just accepting the first hypothesis that seemed reasonable and then moving on without questioning the current thinking.

This incident reminded me of my two daughters’ favourite Disney song,  Dig A Little Deeper. Mama Odie sings this song in the Princess and the Frog movie.


 

I think digging a little deeper is a good message – not just for students but for all researchers.  Dig a little deeper to find what you are looking for – dig deeper into your project.  Look harder at your results for points that may have been missed.   Research the literature harder and make sure you know the subject area in and out.  Dig A Little Deeper.

I have been humming this song to myself all week, with a little smile on my face!

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THEY’RE HEEERREEE! The JIDC Ts!

Eeeeeee!  The JIDC T-shirts came in from the printers this week.  In the office we were all very excited.  And today I have just finished sending the shirts to some of the JIDC Open Access Week winners and JIDC Editors.  Can’t wait to everyone to receive the shirts!

Want to join the JIDC T-shirt wearing team? Send in a picture of you wearing your JIDC for posting on the Blog or feel free to post your picture to the JIDC Facebook page.

Here we are at JIDC Canada wearing our JIDC Ts proudly!

It's not too COLD in Canada to wear our JIDC T!

If you are interested in obtaining a JIDC T-shirt and you were not a winner in our T-shirt contest, please contact me at akelvin(at)jidc(dot)org.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC

Hi everyone!  This post comes from JIDC’s Technical Editor Nikki Kelvin and focuses on Academic Scientific Writing and Scientific Writing for publishing your research in JIDC.  Originally written for Open Access Week, this post is a great guide to Scientific Writing!   Please leave any questions on publishing that you would like answered.

Alyson

Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC: How does the editing process work, and what can I do to expedite the process?

How do I publish a scientific paper?

This question is asked by all young scientists. For those living and working in developing countries the question is at times frightening, but at JIDC we see many young scientists eagerly launch into the task.

It is well-known that scientists from developing countries face barriers that are not problematic for scientists in developed countries in getting their research published. As noted on the JIDC web site, these barriers may include issues such as lack of interest by some international journals in regional problems, the inexperience of authors from developing nations in presenting their research in international forums, and language barriers.

Previous posts have discussed the philosophy behind JIDC’s mentoring system and how it helps our authors not only improve their experimental design and analysis and presentation of data, but how to discuss the results within the boundaries of reasonable argument and make them interesting to a wider audience in addition to their national colleagues. Here we would like to talk about how JIDC’s technical and scientific editors contribute to the mentoring system. We will also present some tips on what authors can do to ensure that the editorial process moves efficiently.

Language is one of the greatest barriers faced by scientists from developing countries whose first language is not English.  Many editors will immediately reject papers if the English is poor even though the articles may have scientific merit. At JIDC, we believe that the dissemination of scientific studies should not be impeded by language barriers; therefore, after articles have been reviewed and accepted for publication by a section editor, they are submitted to a double-editing process.

After being accepted for publication, articles are first sent to a technical editor for language editing. The editor will look for errors in sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, diction (i.e., correct choice and use of words), and punctuation and make the appropriate revisions. Occasionally, an author’s meaning will not be clear to the editor. In such cases, the editors will revise the sentence as they believe it should be written (and add a comment asking the author to verify the change) or ask the author to rewrite the sentence to make it clearer.

The technical editor also ensures that JIDC style is followed by checking that titles and abstracts do not exceed the required maximum length, that appropriate key words are present, and that abstracts and body text contain the appropriate section headings. Finally, the technical editors check that the references are set according to JIDC style.

When the technical editing has been completed, the article is sent to a scientific editor. Although this double-editing process takes time, it is an essential step to ensure that the scientific meaning was not altered in any way during the technical editing process. The scientific editor also checks the paper for scientific accuracy, ensures that terms are correctly italicized, checks that tables and figures match the text, and verifies equations and formulae.

While all the technical and scientific editors at JIDC take pride in helping our authors produce the best papers possible for publication, the process moves along more quickly and efficiently for articles that need few revisions. If possible, ask a colleague or friend who has good English skills to edit your paper for you before you submit it.

Here are some other tips to help move your article through the editorial process efficiently.

1. Write clearly and simply. This means that you should

  • write short sentences and use simple words
    • avoid using unnecessarily long sentences
    • avoid using uncommon words (for example, more people would understand the word “confuse” than “obfuscate” so “confuse” is a better word choice)
    • use fewer words (for example, “conducted” or “performed” are better choices than “carried out”,  and “per” and “whether” are less wordy than “as per” or “whether or not”)
    • use the spelling checker on your computer,
      • be aware that spelling checkers may not identify words that are incorrectly used even when they are spelled correctly
      • for example, a spelling checker will not alert you when you have written “might” when you mean “mite” or “for” when you mean “four” or “fore”

2. Review the following check list to ensure that your article follows the guidelines for authors as shown on the JIDC web site:

  • Both the title and the running title are the correct length
  • The abstract is the correct length and it contains the appropriate sections
    • It can take a long time for an editor to shorten a 390 word abstract to 250 words, and you may disagree with the editor on which information should be eliminated, so it is better to ensure that the abstract adheres to the requirements before it is submitted
    • The article text contains all the appropriate sections
    • The article mentions all tables and figures in the text, and that the number of tables and figures mentioned matches the number of tables and figures submitted with the publication
      • The editing process is slowed down considerably when the editors have to double-check whether an article should have four or five tables because the article mentions only four tables but five have been uploaded to the JIDC site
      • The tables and figures are submitted and formatted as instructed on the JIDC web site
        • The publication of many papers has been delayed because the figures and tables do not adhere to the proper specifications
        • The references are in numerical order and set in square brackets (e.g., [1] ) in the text
        • The reference list at the end of the article follows JIDC style as shown on the web site, paying attention to punctuation and spacing as well as the accuracy of the authors’ names, dates, and page numbers

While at JIDC we do all that we can to mentor our authors and help them produce the best papers possible, we must work with the raw material that is sent to us.  It is the responsibility of all authors to ensure that they send us their best work. Working together, we can have a positive and successful publishing experience.

Nikki Kelvin

Nikki in her OA T!

 

JIDC Technical Editor

 

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The Birth of JIDC…A new kind of Journal

In the beginning . . . there was . . . an Idea . . . JIDC

There is an old saying that “Success has a thousand mothers and failure has none”. JIDC, I am proud to say, has thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Truly, thousands. The success is of JIDC is the fruit of the dedication and hard work of editors, mentors, proofreaders, page setters, reviewers, web designers, web wizards, translators,  and of course the authors who contribute their precious work to JIDC.

Interestingly, I am frequently asked how JIDC began. In a way it began overlooking a mountain in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in May of 2006. A great number of my associates were attending a meeting—the first International Meeting of Infectious Disease in Central Asia, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We had many intense discussions on the problems facing scientists from developing countries attempting to publish in predominantly western journals and from these discussions evolved the unorthodox idea of a journal that was dedicated to scientists and infectious disease in developing countries.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan AdvanTours Photo

Many of us had long recognized that scientists and infectious disease science from developing countries were dramatically underrepresented in journals published in western countries. The underlying  science from infectious disease clinicians and scientists, we believed, was of a high calibre, but often the writing and presentation within manuscripts were not.  The solution, we summarized, in the majestic scenery of Bishkek, was to provide assistance in the writing and presentation of data for scientists’ draft JIDC manuscripts.  We thus added to JIDC a mentor system to guide and aid authors from developing countries with both writing skills and manuscript organization.

But alas, finances presented the greatest hurdle for scientists to publish and for the JIDC to function. Many journals require a payment of sorts to be made for accepted manuscripts to be published. The average going rate of $3,000 USD in western journals is manageable by western scientists, but the amount is simply out of the reach for many scientists and clinicians in developing countries. In fact, this may represent nearly one half a year’s wages in some developing countries. The JIDC, we declared, must be free of fees for those who cannot afford them. JIDC today is open access, free to submit, and the publication fee is waived for those who cannot afford the modest fee of 200 euros. The financial burden of maintaining JIDC is shouldered by volunteers of JIDC and grants from foundations and organizations such as the Foundation of Bank of Sardinia, Sardegna Ricerche, the University of Sassari, Shantou University Medical College, the Li Ka Shing Foundation, and the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to these people and organizations.

Through the months and years that followed the Bishkek meeting, JIDC was able to attract the dedicated team that now manages submitted manuscripts, reviews manuscripts, edits manuscripts, and publishes papers. The success of JIDC is the success of the many people who have joined in this exciting and rewarding journey! As we look forward to our fifth an

niversary in 2012, the future is in our hands and it is a glorious sunrise.

Salvatore Rubino, Editor in Chief humble servant…..

JIDC Website:  http://www.jidc.org/index.php/journal

JIDC Editorial Meeting 2011 in Stintino, Sardinia

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