Global Trends in Measles Publications

Pan Afr Med J. 2020 Feb 20;35(Suppl 1):14. doi: 10.11604/pamj.supp.2020.35.1.18508. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: Beginning with the 1960s, this review analyzes trends in publications on measles indexed by the National Library of Medicine from January 1960 to mid-2018. It notes both the growth in numbers of published papers, and the increasing number and proportion of publications, in the current century, of articles on such items as costing, measles elimination, and determinants of coverage.

Methods: A two-person team extracted from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) homepage all citations on measles beginning in 1960 and continuing through mid-2018. These were then classified both by overall number and by subject matter, with tabular summaries of both by decade and by subject matter. The tabular presentation forms the basis for a discussion of the ten most frequently cited subjects, and publication trends, with a special emphasis on the current century.

Results: As in the past, the most often currently published items have been on coverage and its determinants, measles elimination, outbreak reports, SSPE, and SIAs. The putative relationship between vaccination and autism saw a spurt of articles in the 1990s, rapidly declining after the IOM report rejecting the causative hypothesis.

Conclusion: There is a discussion on the sequencing of polio and measles eradication, the former unlikely before 2022, and an examination of likely research priorities as the world moves from measles control to measles eradication. There is a key role for social science in combatting vaccination reticence. The role of technical innovations, such as micropatch vaccination, is discussed.

Keywords: Measles; coverage; elimination; epidemiology; eradication; panencephalis (SSPE); routine immunization; supplementary immunization activities (SIAs); surveillance.

Publication types

  • Review