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Bibliometric description of the literature on HTLV-1 registered in PubMed over the past ten years


We conducted a bibliometric evaluation to get insight into research activities and tendencies.


The search criteria in PubMed were: (1) “human T-lymphotropic virus 1” as medical subject headings (MeSH) major topic; and (2) publication date from January 2001-December 2010. We retrieved publication year, author names, journal, country of first author, language, free availability, and MeSH terms.


The search retrieved 1189 publications by 3969 authors. Twenty-eight authors published >=15 articles. The number of publications did not increase: 600 in 2001-2005 and 589 in 2006-2010. The journals with the highest number of publications are: Journal of virology (126), Retrovirology (58), Blood (47), The Journal of biological chemistry (45) and Virology (41). In 349 publications (30%), the first author was from the USA; Japan contributed 329 publications (28%); Brazil 115 (10%); France 91 (8%); and the UK 54 (5%). The proportion of publications with a first author from Latin America or the Caribbean increased over time (10% in 2001-2002; 18% in 2009-2010); the proportion with a North American first author decreased (34% in 2001-2002; 26% in 2009-2010). Ninety-six percent (1137) of the publications are in English. The full text of 582 publications (49%) is freely available. The most frequent MeSH terms relate to virology. Clinical/epidemiological MeSH terms are more frequent in publications from Latin America and the Caribbean than elsewhere.


The constantly modest number of publications characterizes HTLV-1 as a neglected health problem. The MeSH terms suggest that clinical/epidemiological aspects are investigated much less frequently than virological aspects.

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Correspondence to Kristien Verdonck.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Verdonck, K., Gotuzzo, E. Bibliometric description of the literature on HTLV-1 registered in PubMed over the past ten years. Retrovirology 8 (Suppl 1), A247 (2011).

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