Toxoplasmosis endangers the unborn child if its infectious agent - toxoplasma gondii - is transmitted transplacentally during pregnancy. Although this condition occurs in all parts of the world and represents a major public health burden, no detailed knowledge on the global research architecture of congenital toxoplasmosis is available thus far. Hence, it was the aim of this study to assess the related global research activity over the past 110 years.
We employed the NewQIS platform, which combines established scientometric and socioeconomic analysis tools with novel visualizing techniques such as density equalizing mapping projections.
In the Web of Science, 13,044 congenital toxoplasmosis-related items published between 1900 and 2012 were identified. These were issued by 26,483 authors originating from 125 countries. The US was the dominating nation (38.7 % of total scientific output), followed by France (10.9 %) and Great Britain (9.2 %). The US also led the ranking in regards to semi-qualitative parameters (total citations, country-specific h-indices and citation rates). When research activity was related to economic figures, the ratio of total toxoplasmosis publications to the total GDP listed Switzerland first with an average of 589.35 toxoplasmosis-related publications per GDP in 1000 Bio US-$, followed by France (545.16), the UK (486.13) and Brazil (431.84) and the US (311.11). The relation of toxoplasmosis-specific publications to the economic power indicator GDP per capita in 1000 US-$ revealed that the US was ranked first with 97.65 toxoplasmosis-related publications/GDP per capita in 1000 US-$, followed by Brazil (85.95). Subject area analysis indicated a relative shortage of studies that addressed pharmacological or public health aspects of congenital toxoplasmosis.
This study is the first in-depth approach to sketch a global picture of the congenital toxoplasmosis research architecture. In contrast to other fields of biomedical research, not only high-income countries play a major role regarding congenital toxoplasmosis research but also countries such as Brazil that have a high incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis.