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By David Tuller, DrPH

And now again with BMJ Open. I have written many, many posts about my efforts to get this supposedly reputable journal to acknowledge the issues with Professor Crawley’s school absence study. I won’t recap that unfortunate matter in this post, except to note that I am still waiting for the results from a Bristol University investigation of that and a number of other papers from Professor Crawley’s team.

In any event, last week I sent Professor Trudie Chalder a letter about a mistake in the PRINCE trial protocol, which BMJ Open published in July. Today I sent a follow-up letter to Adrian Aldcroft, the editor-in-chief of the journal.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

In its efforts to save money, the National Health Service has been expanding the program known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) by encouraging physicians to refer over all those with so-called “medically unexplained symptoms” (MUS). Under IAPT, the illness referred to as “chronic fatigue syndrome” falls into the MUS category. The program essentially provides CBT and related “rehabilitative” interventions.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

I have posted a batch of letters about the Lightning Process study that have been sent to Dr Fiona Godlee, editorial director of BMJ, here, here and here. I have been impressed with how direct these scientists and clinicians have been in expressing their dismay at BMJ’s failure to adhere to its own editorial standards. I get the feeling some of the writers have been inspired by the earlier messages to Dr Godlee.

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TWiV 565: Karolinska Virology

From the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Vincent speaks with Niklas Björkström, Ali Mirazimi, and Matti Sällberg about their work on the impact of chronic hepatitis C virus infection on NK cells, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus vaccines, and immunotherapy to block entry of hepatitis B and D viruses.

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Show notes at microbe.tv/twiv

After infection with poliovirus, only about 1% of individuals develop paralysis. I have always wondered whether genetic polymorphisms underlie the rarity of this disease outcome. The results of study carried out in Denmark provide the first insights.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

The trickle of letters from top experts to Dr Fiona Godlee about BMJ’s decision to republish Professor Esther Crawley’s Lightning Process study continues. The letters excoriate BMJ’s actions in this matter and urge Dr Godlee to retract the dung-heap otherwise known as “Clinical and cost-effectiveness of the Lightning Process in addition to specialist medical care for paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome: randomised controlled trial.”

I have previously posted six letters, here and here. Below are five more. They were e-mailed directly to Dr Godlee and cc’d to many of the 55 scientists, clinicians and other experts who signed Virology Blog’s recent open letter about the matter. The writers are: Dr Steve Olsen of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region; Professor Alison Bested of Nova Southeastern University in Florida; Professor Rebecca Goldin of George Mason University in Virginia; Professor Ronald Tompkins of Harvard Medical School; and Professor Brian Hughes of National University of Ireland, Galway.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

Last week I posted three comments sent to Dr Fiona Godlee, editorial director of BMJ, in support of retraction of the biased and discredited Lightning Process. All three–Professor Ola Saugstad of University of Oslo, Professor Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University, and Professor Elisa Oltra of University Catolica de Valencia San Vicente Martir–were among the 55 experts who signed Virology Blog’s recent open letter to Dr Godlee. That letter expressed concern and dismay that Archives in Disease in Childhood, the BMJ journal that published the study two years ago, had acknowledged the methodological violations documented on Virology Blog but nonetheless republished the original, seriously compromised findings. When I sent the letter to Dr Godlee, I cc’d many of the signers.

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From the 16th Smögen Summer Symposium on Virology, Vincent speaks with Erling Norrby about how he has used archival material to provide insight into early Nobel Prizes for research on viruses.

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Ebolavirusby Gertrud U. Rey

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is currently experiencing its worst outbreak of Ebola virus disease in history. More than 3,000 people have been infected with the virus, and nearly 1,900 have died since the outbreak began in 2018.

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By David Tuller, DrPH

As Virology Blog has reported, the lead author of the revised version of Cochrane’s Risk of Bias tool, published last week in BMJ, is a long-time Bristol University colleague of Professor Esther Crawley. In that capacity, he is a co-author of two high-profile studies that violated key principles of scientific investigation—the Lightning Process study, published by Archives of Disease in Childhood two years ago, and the 2011 school absence study published in BMJ Open.

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