Medicine & Health

PLOS Special Collections 

Read more about PLOS Special Collections on the Special Collections information page



The Starworms (STop Anthelminthic Resistant WORMS) project aims to strengthen the monitoring and surveillance of drug efficacy and anthelmintic resistance in soil-transmitted helminth control programs. This Special Collection captures different aspects on how to best monitor the efficacy of current anthelmintic drugs and the emergence of anthelmintic resistance.


Advances in Clinical Trial Design for Development of New Treatments for Tuberculosis

With recent opportunities to test combinations of new and repurposed drugs for the treatment of TB, new questions arise for optimal clinical trial design. To address these, in March 2018 WHO organized a consultation on “Advances in Clinical Trial Design for New TB Treatments” to identify and outline the optimal characteristics of clinical trial designs to inform policy guidance for new TB regimens. This PLOS Medicine Special Collection assembles a series of articles on current reflections and describes essential new steps in clinical research that will pave the way for the development of tomorrow’s optimal treatment for all forms of TB.

Advances in HIV Mucosal Immunology: Challenges and Opportunities

This collection reports the results of the efforts of investigators, in providing important, practical details on studying immune responses in the genital and rectal mucosa, which will help guide future studies of HIV prevention.

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

"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.

Burden of Infectious Diseases in Europe 

The Burden of Communicable Diseases in Europe (BCoDE) aimed to estimate the burden of communicable diseases applying a pathogen and incidence based approach to estimating DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years). This collection brings together papers on the methodology and on resulting disease burden estimates for a variety of settings.

Child Mortality Estimation Methods

In this collection of research articles and reviews the independent Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the UN IGME introduces the group's methodological innovations in estimating child mortality.


This collection highlights approaches needed for generating soil-transmitted helminths evidence to inform intervention strategies and policy changes.


Economic Cases for NCD Prevention and Control: A Global Perspective

Economic Cases for NCD Prevention and Control expands the evidence base on the economic burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and the impact of NCD prevention and control programs globally. This Collection highlights investment cases, economic evaluations of interventions, and economic impacts on households, health systems, and nations. This Collection was produced by the International NCD Economics Research Network, a coalition of academic, governmental, and non-governmental partners, chaired by Centers for Disease Control and Protection, RTI International, and University of Illinois, Chicago. 

Economic Efficiency of HIV Services

This collection presents recent, high-quality evidence from low- and middle-income countries on costs and technical efficiency of HIV services and their determinants. 


Epidemiological metrics for the HIV epidemic

Extraordinary progress has been made to halt and reverse the spread of HIV. However, there is still a long way to go to end the epidemic, as called for in the third Sustainable Development Goal. This collection reviews metrics to understand progress in diverse HIV epidemics. It considers both the public health and the human rights lessons learned from other infectious diseases and provides suggestions to evaluate the success of global, national and local HIV responses. 

Epigenetics 2010

This collection reflects a range of model systems and organisms, and offer phenotypic, mechanistic, and chromatin-based insights.

Flubendazole in Onchocerciasis

Treating onchocerciasis remains a challenge as no drug effectively kills the adult worms. A new orally bioavailable formulation of flubendazole was developed and tested to find out whether it could be a safe and effective macrofilaricidal drug. The introduction to this collection explains the history and rationale for development. The subsequent 3 articles report on the efficacy, PK and safety as observed in animal models. The last article summarizes the toxicology and preclinical PK data generated with this new flubendazole formulation. It also explains that the decision to discontinue its development was taken because no safe and effective dose could be selected for use in clinical trials.

Focus on Delivery and Scale: Achieving HIV Impact with Sex Workers

Up-to-date analyses on both the influence of direct and indirect intervention programmes aimed at interrupting the high-incidence of HIV infection amongst sex workers.

Fortification Assessment

This collection highlights fortification coverage results from a series of surveys across diverse countries in Africa and Asia using the Fortification Assessment Coverage Toolkit (FACT).

Grand Convergence: Aligning Technologies & Realities in Global Health

This collection describes how to reduce avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels within a generation by aggressively scaling up health tools and continuing to invest in the tools of tomorrow.

High Quality Health Systems

The collection on High Quality Health Systems will publish a range of research papers on the measurement, improvement, and ethics of health system quality. 

Investigating the Impact of Treatment on New HIV Infections

In November 2011 the HIV Modelling Consortium held a meeting on the cross-cutting issues of the impact of new scientific findings about HIV treatment preventing new infections. The group considered the feasibility of interventions, potential epidemiological impact, affordability and community trials.

malERA – a research agenda for malaria eradication

The Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA) initiative complements existing research agendas aimed at reducing the global burden of  malaria by malaria control, with a set of research and development priorities that identify knowledge gaps and tools needed for worldwide eradication of malaria. 

malERA - An updated research agenda for malaria elimination and eradication

‘malERA Refresh’ is a research and development agenda that accelerates progress towards malaria elimination and eradication. This collection sets out a multi-disciplinary agenda for research, development and innovation.

Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for interventions in this field, exploring issues around household surveys, assessment of health inequalities, consideration of survey error, and the generation of indicators for global monitoring.

MHTF Year One: Quality of Maternal Health Care

Each year the PLOS Maternal Health Task Force Project had a different focus. In Year One, the theme was "quality of maternal health care.”

MHTF Year Two: Maternal Health is Women’s Health

Each year the PLOS Maternal Health Task Force Project had a different focus. In Year Two, the theme was "Maternal Health is Women’s Health.”

MHTF Year Three: Integrating Health Care to Meet the Needs of the Mother–Infant Pair

Each year the PLOS Maternal Health Task Force Project had a different focus. In Year Three, the theme was "Integrating Health Care to Meet the Needs of the Mother–Infant Pair.”

MHTF Year Four: Neglected Populations: Decreasing Inequalities and Improving Measurement in Maternal Health

Through this collection, we draw attention to issues of inequality within maternal health, with a particular focus on new measurement tools and approaches to track disparities and guide efforts to reduce them.

MHTF Year Five: Non-Communicable Diseases and Maternal Health Around the Globe

This collection aims to draw attention to issues surrounding non-communicable diseases, with a particular focus on risk factors and implications for reproductive or maternal health. 

Minimally invasive autopsy for cause of death determination in high burden settings

A series of studies on minimally invasive autopsy, a tool for cause of death investigation in middle and low-income countries.

Monitoring Universal Health Coverage

13 country case studies, five technical reviews and an overview describe a global framework for monitoring progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank Group.

NTD Modelling Consortium: Insights on data needs

As Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) programs move towards the 2020 goals, there is a need to strengthen data collection and evaluation for decision making. Mathematical modelling has an important role in evaluating current monitoring and evaluation data and discussing alternatives, as well as in evaluating whether additional data is needed to understand key epidemiological uncertainties.

Proceedings of Medicine X

The Stanford Medicine X program is a leading patient-centered conference on emerging technology and medicine. With aims to catalyze new ideas about the future of medicine and health care, the conference has generated a selection of articles as featured in this collection.

Real-Time Monitoring of Under-Five Mortality

The results of a five-year program of research focused on improving the measurement of short-term changes in neonatal and child mortality in low-resource settings.


Replication of influential studies evaluating interventions for HIV prevention and treatment

Three decades of work on HIV prevention and treatment have yielded effective biomedical, behavioral, social, and structural interventions in controlled trials. Few of these have been adopted at a population level to prevent HIV. The effort needed to scale up any evidence-based intervention requires the results to be carefully reviewed, understood and confirmed. The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) funded this Collection of replication studies to address this gap. The research covers topics related to HIV and AIDS, attempts to reproduce the original findings using existing data and any available study materials. 

Structural Biology and Human Health: Medically Relevant Proteins from the SGC

This collection of articles represents some of the research highlights from the SGC, an international public-private partnership that determines three dimensional structures of medically important proteins from both human and human parasites and places this information into the public domain, free from restrictions on use. 

TDR Reflects on 40 Years

Former and current staff of the Special Programme in Research and Training in Tropical Disease (TDR) provide their views on key challenges and lessons learned during the 40 year history.

The Global Burden of Norovirus & Prospects for Vaccine Development

Each year, norovirus causes over 200,000 deaths and a global economic burden of more than $60 billion.  In this PLOS Collection global norovirus experts fill critical knowledge gaps and provide key information to further development of a much-needed vaccine.

The Human Microbiome Project Collection

Funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund, the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was established to provide a comprehensive baseline of the microbial diversity at 18 different human body sites. The Human Microbiome Project Collection encompasses publications from the project.

Trafficking, Exploitation and Health

This PLOS Collection offers evidence and expert commentary to urge health professionals to treat trafficking as a global health determinant.

VMMC for HIV Prevention: New Mathematical Models for Prioritizing Sub-Populations by Age & Geography

Featuring mathematical modeling that aim to help decision-makers examine the potential effects of targeting sub-populations for voluntary medical male circumcision.

Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention: Improving Quality, Efficiency, Cost Effectiveness, and Demand for Services during an Accelerated Scale-up

This collection examines lessons learned from the scaled-up VMMC program since 2008.

Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention: The Cost, Impact, and Challenges of Accelerated Scale-Up in Southern and Eastern Africa

Can scaling up VMMC for HIV prevention Africa help prevent HIV as well as leading to substantial cost savings for countries as a result of averted treatment and care costs?

Visceral Leishmaniasis and HIV Co-Infection

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases has dedicated a special collection to VL-HIV co-infection including basic and molecular work, immunological and diagnostic studies, clinical studies, and public health aspects.

WHO Estimates of the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases

Illness and death from diseases caused by contaminated food are a constant threat to public health and a significant impediment to socio-economic development worldwide. This Collection reports the first estimates of the incidence, mortality, and disease burden caused by 31 foodborne hazards.

World Health Report 2012: No Health Without Research

This collection's theme is oriented around the fact that decisions on healthcare are still made without a solid grounding in research evidence, and an impetus is required for this state of affairs to change.


Leishmaniasis research papers from the call for papers made by the WorldLeish-6 Scientific Committee, in partnership with PLOS Collections.

40 Years of the APOC Partnership

This collections looks at the impact that the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) has had over the last 40 years and how it has played a key role in reducing the rates of blindness caused by onchocerciasis.

PLOS Archive Collections

 Spotlight Archive Collection

Sport and Exercise Science

This collection reflects the interdisciplinary nature of this discipline – with topics ranging from Neuromuscular Biology to Exercise Behaviour – and the growing scientific interest in the limits and capabilities of the human body.


A Research Agenda for the Control and Elimination of Human Helminthiases

Are Drug Companies Living Up to Their Human Rights Responsibilities?

Big Food

Bridging Communities: Co- and Polymicrobial Infections

Cancer Research

Clinical Immunology Collection

Combating NTDs: Lessons from India

Disease Mongering


Editor’s Pick: Cancer Immunotherapy

Editor’s Picks: Stem Cell Research

Editor’s Picks: Regenerative Medicine

Evaluating eHealth Collection

Genetically Modified Insect

Genomics of Emerging Infectious Diseases


Global Health Diplomacy

Global Health Estimates

Good Clinical Practice

Grand Challenges in Global Health

Health Consequences of the Asian Tsunami

Malaria: Targets and Drugs for All Stages

Mental Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Migration & Health


Neuromapping and Therapeutics

Pediatric Medicine

PLOS and DNDi: A Decade of Open Access and NTD R&D

PLOS Genetics: 10th Anniversary

PLOS Medicine: Cancer Research

PLOS Medicine Special Issues

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: 10th Anniversary Collection

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Historical Profiles and Perspectives

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Top Ten Research Article Collection

PLOS Pathogens Pearls

PLOS Pathogens & PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Twinning Collection

PLOS Pathogens: 10th Anniversary Collection



Sleeping Sickness

Social Medicine in the 21st Century

Sport and Exercise Science

Stress-Induced Depression and Comorbidities: From Bench to Bedside


Sub-Saharan Africa's Mothers, Newborns, and Children

The Changing Nature of Global Health Institutions

The Geopolitics of Neglected Tropical Diseases

The Global Challenges of Noncommunicable Diseases

Tsetse Genome Biology Collection

Up For A Challenge (U4C) – Stimulating Innovation in Breast Cancer Genetic Epidemiology


Visceral Leishmaniasis and HIV Co-Infection

WASH - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene​

Water and Sanitation

Yellow Fever