MRC Unit The Gambia at the top of the charts in research collaboration

The report from the European and African Clinical Research Bibliometric analysis of publications within the scope of The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) 2003 – 2011, highlights MRC Unit The Gambia’s contribution towards reducing the global burden of diseases.

Globally, around 30,000 papers were published in malaria research and around 34,000 in tuberculosis. Research output was higher in neglected infectious disease research, around 45,000 papers, and much higher in HIV/AIDS 95,000 papers.

MRC Unit The Gambia participated in several projects funded by the EDCTP. This translated in 192 publications on malaria research, including 37 research publications for malaria clinical trials, 113 publications research on tuberculosis, 88 publications for HIV/AIDS and 63 publications on neglected infectious diseases, all with high citations.

The bibliometric evaluation of the research output of European and African researchers presents each disease area with a particular focus on identifying leading institutions, researchers and funding organisations.

Malaria
In sub-Saharan Africa, research on malaria has doubled over the last decade, MRC Unit The Gambia was identified as one of the main research collaborators.

Malaria accounted for nearly 30% of the research output of The Gambia and Mali. MRC Unit The Gambia stood out with an output of 192 papers and a high citation impact of 1.94 (Table 1).

Institutions in West Africa collaborating on malaria research with Europe
Institution Country Papers (N) Citation impact
MRC Unit The Gambia GMB 192 1.94
University of Bamako MLI 105 2.27
University of Ghana GHA 85 2.13
Centre national de recherche de Formation sur le Paludisme BFA 73 1.91
Centre de Recherche Entomologique de Cotonou BEN 72 2.22
Institut Pasteur SEN 71 1.48
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology GHA 67 1.55
Cheikh Anta Diop University SEN 64 1.91
University of Ibadan NGA 58 1.17
Ministry of Health GHA 56 2.22
Burkina Faso Health Sciences Research Institute BFA 55 1.63
Université d’Abomey-Calavi BEN 45 1.23
Centre MURAZ BFA 41 1.49
University of Cocody-Abidjan CIV 41 2.15
Nouna Health Research Centre BFA 39 0.68
Ministry of Health BFA 33 1.67
IRD SEN 32 2.32
Swiss Academy of Science CIV 31 2.66
University of Ouagadougou BFA 30 1.58
Organization for the Fight Against Endemic Diseases in Central Africa SEN 27 1.69
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital GHA 26 2.02
Institut Pierre Richet CIV 23 1.78
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine GHA 23 1.25
University for Development Studies GHA 22 1.31
University of Nigeria NGA 20 0.79

Clinical trials and epidemiology research
Epidemiology-related research accounted for 17.7% of global malaria research, but twice that percentage for sub-Saharan Africa’s output (36.1%).

Clinical trials research accounted for 5.4% of global malaria research. In West Africa, MRC Unit The Gambia, accounts for 37 research publications with high citation of 2.99 in malaria clinical trials.(Table 2).

Institutions involved in sub-Saharan African clinical trials research, malaria
Institution Country Papers (N) Citation impact
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine UK 137 3.38
Makerere University UGA 58 2.46
KEMRI, Kisumu KEN 54 2.33
University of Bamako MLI 50 2.57
University of Oxford UK 49 3.65
WHO CHE 46 2.31
Albert Schweitzer Hospital GAB 42 1.98
KEMRI, Kilifi KEN 42 3.39
University of Tübingen (Eberhard Karl) DEU 41 1.84
University of Ibadan NGA 38 1.52
KEMRI, Nairobi KEN 37 2.16
MRC Unit The Gambia GMB 37 2.99
Ifakara Health Institute TZA 34 2.98
UMC Amsterdam NLD 34 1.72
GlaxoSmithKline BEL 33 5.27
University of Barcelona ESP 32 3.30
National Institute for Medical Research TZA 30 3.77
Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute, Basel CHE 30 3.31
University of Liverpool UK 29 1.67
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp BEL 28 1.96
Manhica Health Research Centre MOZ 28 2.96
Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences TZA 28 2.52
University College Hospital, Ibadan NGA 28 1.12
Karolinska University Hospital SWE 26 1.67
Ministry of Health MOZ 26 3.36
Cheikh Anta Diop University SEN 24 2.10
University of Copenhagen DNK 24 3.36
Ministry of Health UGA 22 1.70
University of Khartoum SDN 21 1.05
Epicentre FRA 20 1.94
Karolinska Institutet SWE 20 1.44
Ministry of Health GHA 20 3.29

Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis research output in West Africa accounts for 481 papers of which MRC Unit The Gambia produced 113 with a citation impact of 1.78 (Table 3).

As an institution in West Africa collaborating on tuberculosis research with Europe, MRC Unit The Gambia produced 73 research publications with a citation impact of 1.89. (Table 3)

Country data for tuberculosis research in West Africa
National tuberculosis research Collaborative tuberculosis research
UN Short Code Papers (N) Citation impact % National research Papers (N) Citation impact % National research
BEN 27 0.77 2.2% 26 0.80 96.3%
BFA 23 0.53 1.4% 18 0.64 78.3%
CIV 44 1.46 3.0% 29 2.14 65.9%
CPV 1 0.00 2.4% 0 0.00 0.0%
GHA 69 1.92 2.5% 53 1.86 76.8%
GIN 13 2.17 7.0% 12 2.33 92.3%
GMB 113 1.78 15.2% 73 1.89 64.6%
GNB 46 1.49 24.7% 45 1.51 97.8%
LBR 1 2.91 2.5% 1 2.91 100.0%
MLI 17 1.41 1.9% 9 2.44 52.9%
MRT 1 0.09 0.6% 0 0.00 0.0%
NER 1 0.00 0.2% 1 0.00 100.0%
NGA 132 0.54 0.9% 34 1.01 25.8%
SEN 47 1.21 2.1% 30 1.74 63.8%
SLE 1 0.63 0.9% 1 0.63 100.0%
TGO 5 0.14 1.3% 1 0.00 20.0%

HIV/AIDS
The relative burden of HIV/AIDS in The Gambia is lower than elsewhere in West Africa. MRC Unit The Gambia is a major European collaborating partner with 88 publications (Table 4) compared to other institutions in West Africa who are collaborating on HIV/AIDS research with Europe.

Institutions in West Africa collaborating on HIV/AIDS research with Europe
Institution Country Papers (N) Citation impact
MRC Unit The Gambia GMB 88 1.36
ANRS CIV 86 1.62
Treichville University Hospital Centre CIV 73 1.39
Centre MURAZ BFA 57 1.45
Aristide Le Dantec University Hospital Centre SEN 35 1.06
Fann University Hospital Centre SEN 27 1.45
Yopougon University Hospital Centre CIV 26 1.47
ACONDA-VS CIV 24 1.57
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital GHA 22 0.72
Ministry of Health SEN 22 1.06
Project RETRO-C1 CIV 22 1.18
Ministry of Health BFA 20 0.76

Neglected Infectious Diseases (NIDs)
In Anglophone West Africa, almost all of The Gambia’s research is collaborative with Europe, mostly through the MRC Unit The Gambia, producing the second highest publications with a high citation of 1.66.

Institutions in West Africa collaborating on NIDs research with Europe
Institution Country Papers (N) Citation impact
CIRDES BFA 68 1.48
MRC Unit The Gambia GMB 63 1.66
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology GHA 54 1.51
Ministry of Health GHA 48 1.57
University of Cocody-Abidjan CIV 43 2.56
University of Ghana GHA 38 1.13
Swiss Academy of Science CIV 37 2.85
Ministry of Health BEN 32 1.16
Ministry of Health BFA 32 1.83
Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine GHA 28 1.78

Conclusion
The analysis derived from the peer-reviewed journals between 2003 and 2011 shows the degree of high impact journals produced by MRC Unit The Gambia and its impact in controlling infectious diseases of public health importance in West Africa and the sub-Saharan.

Access the report on the EDTCP website on http://www.edctp.org/web/app/uploads/2015/08/Bibliometrics_report_web.pdf

About EDCTP
EDCTP was formed in 2003 as a European response to the global health crisis caused by the three main poverty-related diseases: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These diseases account for over 6 million deaths each year, with the greatest burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa, where besides being the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, they impede development and cause poverty.