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A Message from the Editor-in-Chief

Despite the fact that so-called "neglected diseases" such as hookworm affect millions of people, they have long been abandoned by modern medicine.

- Erica Check, Foreign Policy, July/August 2006

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases provides a fresh perspective on an important group of chronic parasitic and bacterial infections—such as hookworm, leishmaniasis, Buruli ulcer, leprosy, and trachoma—conditions affecting the world's poorest people who live in rural areas of low-income countries.

These infections cause disability and disfigurement on a massive scale. The launch of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases coincides with a growing awareness that, collectively, the neglected diseases rival HIV/AIDS, malaria, or tuberculosis in terms of their health impact as well as their ability to keep forgotten populations mired in poverty.

The three-fold mission of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases is to:

  • Provide a forum for the neglected tropical disease community of scientific investigators, health practitioners, control experts, health economists, and patient advocates to publish their findings in an open access format.
  • Promote and profile the efforts of scientists in endemic countries and to build science and health capacity in these countries by giving scientists access to essential information and a new venue for publishing their research.
  • Highlight the global public health importance of the neglected tropical diseases and advocate for the plight of the poor who carry the burden of these conditions.

The editorial board of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases represents a broad group of outstanding experts in the field, including those with expertise in basic sciences, clinical trials, and public health. We have worked hard to make the board as inclusive as possible in terms of gender and representation from developing countries where these diseases occur.

I look forward to hearing your recommendations for new and innovative ideas for highlighting the neglected tropical diseases. We want to do all we can to ensure that PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases plays a crucial role in reducing the global burden of disease caused by these conditions.

Sincerely,

Peter Hotez
Walter G. Ross Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, The George Washington University
President, Sabin Vaccine Institute
Principal Scientist, Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative

To read about the work of Peter Hotez and other researchers working on neglected tropical diseases, see Quest for the Cure, by Erica Check. Also read Peter Hotez's remarks to the First WHO Global Partners' Meeting on Neglected Tropical Diseases.