Table of Contents: Blue Marble Health: the mismatch between national wealth and population health


Image Credit: PLOS / fdecomite, Flickr
Issue Image

Socioeconomic disparities caused by income, ethnicity and relative poverty constitute a major and growing determinant of health to at-risk populations regardless of the average income of their country of residence.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) found among poor people in wealthy countries contribute substantially to health disparities, and exhibit many of the same features as NTDs observed predominantly in lower-income countries including their chronicity and adverse impact on child development and pregnancy outcomes. At the same time, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and coronary artery disease, once perceived as the scourges of wealthy countries, urgently require action as increasingly prevalent causes of illness and death in lower- and middle-income countries. Whether conducted in high, middle, or low-income countries, research on diseases that disproportionately affect poorer people is increasingly relevant.

"Blue marble health" is a recent concept that recognizes a paradoxical disease burden – particularly the burden of NTDs – among poor people living in G20 and other wealthier countries, requiring these nations to take greater ownership for both disease control and research and development into NTDs.

At PLOS, we encourage the submission of papers that address health problems among vulnerable, underserved, and disadvantaged populations in high- as well as lower-income countries.


The Gulf of Mexico: A “Hot Zone” for Neglected Tropical Diseases?

Peter J. Hotez, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Eric Dumonteil, Pierre Buekens

An Unfolding Tragedy of Chagas Disease in North America

Peter J. Hotez, Eric Dumonteil, Miguel Betancourt Cravioto, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Roberto Tapia-Conyer, Sheba Meymandi, Unni Karunakara, Isabela Ribeiro, Rachel M. Cohen, Bernard Pecoul

Ears of the Armadillo: Global Health Research and Neglected Diseases in Texas

Jon Andrus, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Jennifer Chow, Karen A. Goraleski, Susan P. Fisher-Hoch, Jocelyn K. Lambuth, Bruce Y. Lee, Harold S. Margolis, Joseph B. McCormick, Peter Melby, Kristy O. Murray, Rebeca Rico-Hesse, Jesus G. Valenzuela, Peter J. Hotez

Texas and Mexico: Sharing a Legacy of Poverty and Neglected Tropical Diseases

Peter J. Hotez, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Eric Dumonteil, Jesus G. Valenzuela, Shaden Kamhawi, Jaime Ortega, Samuel Ponce de Leon Rosales, Miguel Betancourt Cravioto, Roberto Tapia-Conyer


The Gulf Coast: A New American Underbelly of Tropical Diseases and Poverty

Peter J. Hotez, Kristy O. Murray, Pierre Buekens

Geographical Limits of the Southeastern Distribution of Aedes aegypti (Diptera, Culicidae) in Argentina

Leonardo M. Díaz-Nieto, Arnaldo Maciá, M. Alejandra Perotti, Corina M. Berón


A Global Biomedical R&D Fund and Mechanism for Innovations of Public Health Importance

Manica Balasegaram, Christian Bréchot, Jeremy Farrar, David Heymann, Nirmal Ganguly, Martin Khor, Yves Lévy, Precious Matsoso, Ren Minghui, Bernard Pécoul, Liu Peilong, Marcel Tanner, John-Arne Røttingen

Poverty, Disease, and the Ecology of Complex Systems

Calistus N. Ngonghala, Mateusz M. Pluciński, Megan B. Murray, Paul E. Farmer, Christopher B. Barrett, Donald C. Keenan, Matthew H. Bonds

Health in Action

The Guyana Diabetes and Foot Care Project: A Complex Quality Improvement Intervention to Decrease Diabetes-Related Major Lower Extremity Amputations and Improve Diabetes Care in a Lower-Middle-Income Country

Julia Lowe, R. Gary Sibbald, Nashwah Y. Taha, Gerald Lebovic, Carlos Martin, Indira Bhoj, Rolinda Kirton, Brian Ostrow , the Guyana Diabetes and Foot Care Project Team

Policy Platform

Health Policies to Control Chagas Disease Transmission in European Countries

Ana Requena-Méndez, Pere Albajar-Viñas, Andrea Angheben, Peter Chiodini, Joaquim Gascón, José Muñoz , Chagas Disease COHEMI Working Group

Introducing a Dengue Vaccine to Mexico: Development of a System for Evidence-Based Public Policy Recommendations

Miguel Betancourt-Cravioto, Pablo Kuri-Morales, Jesús Felipe González-Roldán, Roberto Tapia-Conyer , the Mexican Dengue Expert Group

Policy Forums


Visceral Leishmaniasis and HIV Coinfection in the Mediterranean Region

Begoña Monge-Maillo, Francesca F. Norman, Israel Cruz, Jorge Alvar, Rogelio López-Vélez

Research Articles

The Health System and Population Health Implications of Large-Scale Diabetes Screening in India: A Microsimulation Model of Alternative Approaches

Sanjay Basu, Christopher Millett, Sandeep Vijan, Rodney A. Hayward, Sanjay Kinra, Rahoul Ahuja, John S. Yudkin

Frequent House Invasion of Trypanosoma cruzi-Infected Triatomines in a Suburban Area of Brazil

Gilmar Ribeiro Jr., Rodrigo Gurgel-Gonçalves, Renato Barbosa Reis, Carlos Gustavo Silva dos Santos, Alekhine Amorim, Sônia Gumes Andrade, Mitermayer G. Reis

From Lab to Field: The Influence of Urban Landscapes on the Invasive Potential of Wolbachia in Brazilian Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes

Heverton Leandro Carneiro Dutra, Lilha Maria Barbosa dos Santos, Eric Pearce Caragata, Jéssica Barreto Lopes Silva, Daniel Antunes Maciel Villela, Rafael Maciel-de-Freitas, Luciano Andrade Moreira

High Prevalence of HTLV-1 Infection among Japanese Immigrants in Non-endemic Area of Brazil

Larissa M. Bandeira, Silvia N. O. Uehara, Marcel A. Asato, Gabriela S. Aguena, Cristiane M. Maedo, Nikolas H. Benites, Marco A. M. Puga, Grazielli R. Rezende, Carolina M. Finotti, Gabriela A. Cesar, Tayana S. O. Tanaka, Vivianne O. L. Castro, Koko Otsuki, Ana C. P. Vicente, Carlos E. Fernandes, Ana R. C. Motta-Castro

Using Hospital Discharge Database to Characterize Chagas Disease Evolution in Spain: There Is a Need for a Systematic Approach towards Disease Detection and Control

Zaida Herrador, Eva Rivas, Alin Gherasim, Diana Gomez-Barroso, Jezabel García, Agustín Benito, Pilar Aparicio

Shifts in the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Schistosomiasis: A Case Study in Anhui Province, China

Yi Hu, Rui Li, Yue Chen, Fenghua Gao, Qizhi Wang, Shiqing Zhang, Zhijie Zhang, Qingwu Jiang

Economic and Disease Burden of Dengue in Mexico

Eduardo A. Undurraga, Miguel Betancourt-Cravioto, José Ramos-Castañeda, Ruth Martínez-Vega, Jorge Méndez-Galván, Duane J. Gubler, María G. Guzmán, Scott B. Halstead, Eva Harris, Pablo Kuri-Morales, Roberto Tapia-Conyer, Donald S. Shepard

Distribution of Lutzomyia longipalpis Chemotype Populations in São Paulo State, Brazil

Claudio Casanova, Fernanda E. Colla-Jacques, James G. C. Hamilton, Reginaldo P. Brazil, Jeffrey J. Shaw

The Relative Contribution of Immigration or Local Increase for Persistence of Urban Schistosomiasis in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Ronald E. Blanton, Lúcio M. Barbosa, Eliana A. Reis, Theomira M. Carmo, Cláudio R. A. dos Santos, Jackson M. Costa, Peace T. Aminu, Walter A. Blank, Renato Barbosa Reis, Isabel C. Guimarães, Luciano K. Silva, Mitermayer G. Reis

Trends in Animal Rabies Surveillance in the Endemic State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Misael E. Oviedo-Pastrana, Camila S. F. Oliveira, Renato O. Capanema, Rafael R. Nicolino, Teresa J. Oviedo-Socarras, João Paulo A. Haddad

Impact of a Dengue Outbreak Experience in the Preventive Perceptions of the Community from a Temperate Region: Madeira Island, Portugal

Teresa Nazareth, Carla Alexandra Sousa, Graça Porto, Luzia Gonçalves, Gonçalo Seixas, Luís Antunes, Ana Clara Silva, Rosa Teodósio

Emergence of a New Lineage of Dengue Virus Type 2 Identified in Travelers Entering Western Australia from Indonesia, 2010-2012

Timo Ernst, Suzi McCarthy, Glenys Chidlow, Dagwin Luang-Suarkia, Edward C. Holmes, David W. Smith, Allison Imrie

Screening Diagnostic Candidates for Schistosomiasis from Tegument Proteins of Adult Schistosoma japonicum Using an Immunoproteomic Approach

Min Zhang, Zhiqiang Fu, Changjian Li, Yanhui Han, Xiaodan Cao, Hongxiao Han, Yantao Liu, Ke Lu, Yang Hong, Jiaojiao Lin

Prevalence of Chagas Disease in Latin-American Migrants Living in Europe: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ana Requena-Méndez, Edelweiss Aldasoro, Elisa de Lazzari, Elisa Sicuri, Michael Brown, David A. J. Moore, Joaquim Gascon, Jose Muñoz

Severity of Old World Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Is Influenced by Previous Exposure to Sandfly Bites in Saudi Arabia

Karina Mondragon-Shem, Waleed S. Al-Salem, Louise Kelly-Hope, Maha Abdeladhim, Mohammed H. Al-Zahrani, Jesus G. Valenzuela, Alvaro Acosta-Serrano

Profile of Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in a Tropical Medicine Reference Center, Northern Italy

Federico Gobbi, Andrea Angheben, Mariella Anselmi, Chiara Postiglione, Ernestina Repetto, Dora Buonfrate, Stefania Marocco, Stefano Tais, Andrea Chiampan, Paride Mainardi, Zeno Bisoffi

International Dispersal of Dengue through Air Travel: Importation Risk for Europe

Jan C. Semenza, Bertrand Sudre, Jennifer Miniota, Massimiliano Rossi, Wei Hu, David Kossowsky, Jonathan E. Suk, Wim Van Bortel, Kamran Khan

Seasonal Drivers of the Epidemiology of Arthropod-Borne Viruses in Australia

Jemma L. Geoghegan, Peter J. Walker, Jean-Bernard Duchemin, Isabelle Jeanne, Edward C. Holmes

Evidence for Co-evolution of West Nile Virus and House Sparrows in North America

Nisha K. Duggal, Angela Bosco-Lauth, Richard A. Bowen, Sarah S. Wheeler, William K. Reisen, Todd A. Felix, Brian R. Mann, Hannah Romo, Daniele M. Swetnam, Alan D. T. Barrett, Aaron C. Brault

The Evolutionary History and Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the Fever, Thrombocytopenia and Leukocytopenia Syndrome Virus (FTLSV) in China

Xueyong Huang, Licheng Liu, Yanhua Du, Weili Wu, Haifeng Wang, Jia Su, Xiaoyan Tang, Qi Liu, Yinhui Yang, Yongqiang Jiang, Weijun Chen, Bianli Xu

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Clades V and VI (Europe 1 and 2) in Ticks in Kosovo, 2012

Kurtesh Sherifi, Daniel Cadar, Skender Muji, Avni Robaj, Salih Ahmeti, Xhevat Jakupi, Petra Emmerich, Andreas Krüger

Direct Costs of Dengue Hospitalization in Brazil: Public and Private Health Care Systems and Use of WHO Guidelines

Alessandra A. Vieira Machado, Anderson Oliveira Estevan, Antonio Sales, Kelly Cristina da Silva Brabes, Júlio Croda, Fábio Juliano Negrão

Sporotrichosis: An Emerging Neglected Opportunistic Infection in HIV-Infected Patients in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dayvison Francis Saraiva Freitas, Antonio Carlos Francesconi do Valle, Margarete Bernardo Tavares da Silva, Dayse Pereira Campos, Marcelo Rosandiski Lyra, Rogerio Valls de Souza, Valdiléa Gonçalves Veloso, Rosely Maria Zancopé-Oliveira, Francisco Inácio Bastos, Maria Clara Gutierrez Galhardo

Toxocariasis in North America: A Systematic Review

Rachel M. Lee, Laura B. Moore, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Peter J. Hotez

Epidemiology of Intestinal Polyparasitism among Orang Asli School Children in Rural Malaysia

Ahmed K. Al-Delaimy, Hesham M. Al-Mekhlafi, Nabil A. Nasr, Hany Sady, Wahib M. Atroosh, Mohammed Nashiry, Tengku S. Anuar, Norhayati Moktar, Yvonne A. L. Lim, Rohela Mahmud

Characterization of Digestive Involvement in Patients with Chronic T. cruzi Infection in Barcelona, Spain

María-Jesús Pinazo, Gloria Lacima, José-Ignacio Elizalde, Elizabeth-Jesús Posada, Fausto Gimeno, Edelweiss Aldasoro, María-Eugenia Valls, Joaquim Gascon

Heart Failure Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Thomas Callender, Mark Woodward, Gregory Roth, Farshad Farzadfar, Jean-Christophe Lemarie, Stéphanie Gicquel, John Atherton, Shadi Rahimzadeh, Mehdi Ghaziani, Maaz Shaikh, Derrick Bennett, Anushka Patel, Carolyn S. P. Lam, Karen Sliwa, Antonio Barretto, Bambang Budi Siswanto, Alejandro Diaz, Daniel Herpin, Henry Krum, Thomas Eliasz, Anna Forbes, Alastair Kiszely, Rajit Khosla, Tatjana Petrinic, Devarsetty Praveen, Roohi Shrivastava, Du Xin, Stephen MacMahon, John McMurray, Kazem Rahimi

Identification of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Feeding on Humans in Turkey

Ömer Orkun, Zafer Karaer, Ayşe Çakmak, Serpil Nalbantoğlu

Cystic Echinococcosis in the Province of Álava, North Spain: The Monetary Burden of a Disease No Longer under Surveillance

Hélène Carabin, Francisco J. Balsera-Rodríguez, José Rebollar-Sáenz, Christine T. Benner, Aitziber Benito, Juan C. Fernández-Crespo, David Carmena

Origin of the Dengue Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti, in California

Andrea Gloria-Soria, Julia E. Brown, Vicki Kramer, Melissa Hardstone Yoshimizu, Jeffrey R. Powell

Risk of Dengue for Tourists and Teams during the World Cup 2014 in Brazil

Willem G. van Panhuis, Sangwon Hyun, Kayleigh Blaney, Ernesto T. A. Marques Jr, Giovanini E. Coelho, João Bosco Siqueira Jr, Ryan Tibshirani, Jarbas B. da Silva Jr, Roni Rosenfeld

Urbanicity and Lifestyle Risk Factors for Cardiometabolic Diseases in Rural Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Study

Johanna Riha, Alex Karabarinde, Gerald Ssenyomo, Steven Allender, Gershim Asiki, Anatoli Kamali, Elizabeth H. Young, Manjinder S. Sandhu, Janet Seeley

Serological, Molecular and Entomological Surveillance Demonstrates Widespread Circulation of West Nile Virus in Turkey

Koray Ergunay, Filiz Gunay, Ozge Erisoz Kasap, Kerem Oter, Sepandar Gargari, Taner Karaoglu, Seda Tezcan, Mehmet Cabalar, Yakup Yildirim, Gürol Emekdas, Bulent Alten, Aykut Ozkul

The Incidence of Japanese Encephalitis in Taiwan—A Population-Based Study

Li-Ching Hsu, Yu-Ju Chen, Feng-Kuang Hsu, Jyh-Hsiung Huang, Chi-Ming Chang, Pesus Chou, I-Feng Lin, Feng-Yee Chang

Lung Function and Incidence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease after Improved Cooking Fuels and Kitchen Ventilation: A 9-Year Prospective Cohort Study

Yumin Zhou, Yimin Zou, Xiaochen Li, Shuyun Chen, Zhuxiang Zhao, Fang He, Weifeng Zou, Qiuping Luo, Wenxi Li, Yiling Pan, Xiaoliang Deng, Xiaoping Wang, Rong Qiu, Shiliang Liu, Jingping Zheng, Nanshan Zhong, Pixin Ran

Household-Level Expenditure on Protective Measures Against Mosquitoes on the Island of La Réunion, France

Josselin Thuilliez, Claire Bellia, Jean-Sébastien Dehecq, Olivier Reilhes

Relative Risk of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Brazil: A Spatial Analysis in Urban Area

Valdelaine Etelvina Miranda de Araújo, Letícia Cavalari Pinheiro, Maria Cristina de Mattos Almeida, Fernanda Carvalho de Menezes, Maria Helena Franco Morais, Ilka Afonso Reis, Renato Martins Assunção, Mariângela Carneiro

Barriers to Treatment Access for Chagas Disease in Mexico

Jennifer M. Manne, Callae S. Snively, Janine M. Ramsey, Marco Ocampo Salgado, Till Bärnighausen, Michael R. Reich

Patterns of Migration and Risks Associated with Leprosy among Migrants in Maranhão, Brazil

Christine Murto, Frédérique Chammartin, Karolin Schwarz, Lea Marcia Melo da Costa, Charles Kaplan, Jorg Heukelbach

Association of Lifecourse Socioeconomic Status with Chronic Inflammation and Type 2 Diabetes Risk: The Whitehall II Prospective Cohort Study

Silvia Stringhini, G. David Batty, Pascal Bovet, Martin J. Shipley, Michael G. Marmot, Meena Kumari, Adam G. Tabak, Mika Kivimäki

Socioeconomic Inequalities in Lung Cancer Treatment: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Lynne F. Forrest, Jean Adams, Helen Wareham, Greg Rubin, Martin White

Heterogeneity of Environments Associated with Transmission of Visceral Leishmaniasis in South-Eastern France and Implication for Control Strategies

Benoit Faucher, Jean Gaudart, Francoise Faraut, Christelle Pomares, Charles Mary, Pierre Marty, Renaud Piarroux

Analysing Recent Socioeconomic Trends in Coronary Heart Disease Mortality in England, 2000–2007: A Population Modelling Study

Madhavi Bajekal, Shaun Scholes, Hande Love, Nathaniel Hawkins, Martin O'Flaherty, Rosalind Raine, Simon Capewell

Health Behaviours, Socioeconomic Status, and Mortality: Further Analyses of the British Whitehall II and the French GAZEL Prospective Cohorts

Silvia Stringhini, Aline Dugravot, Martin Shipley, Marcel Goldberg, Marie Zins, Mika Kivimäki, Michael Marmot, Séverine Sabia, Archana Singh-Manoux

Estimating the Non-Monetary Burden of Neurocysticercosis in Mexico

Rachana Bhattarai, Christine M. Budke, Hélène Carabin, Jefferson V. Proaño, Jose Flores-Rivera, Teresa Corona, Renata Ivanek, Karen F. Snowden, Ana Flisser