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Please take the time to read the following thread and please retweet as it deserves coverage. It is about Artemisia and two very "interesting" (or should I say problematic) studies.
Well, read this paper :Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra tea infusions vs. artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) in treating Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a large scale, double blind, randomized clinical trial. Munyangi J, et al. Phytomedicine. 2019 doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.12.002.
Please look at table 4... Please look at the number of adverse events (NUMBER OF SUBJECTS).
Here is the table :
Now please look at this paper by the same team:
Effect of Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra tea infusions on schistosomiasis in a large clinical trial. Munyangi J, et al. Phytomedicine. 2018 Dec 1;51:233-240. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.10.014.
Please have a look at table S1.
In both tables there is an unusual pattern of adverse events with numbers that are almost all multiple of five. This is highly suspicious of fake data.
This is suspect of data fabrication. Some colleagues have therefore written two letters to the editor of the journal, phytomedicine (@ElsevierNews). As you will see, there were sufficient warnings to retract these two papers at the speed of light.
There are also some concerns about the ethical approval of the two studies (e.g. the two different study have the same number of approval etc.).
As no appropriate action (retraction of the papers) was done a third letter was sent to request explicitly for a retraction. I was also signatory of this letter. We attached the database in the submission of this letter to document the problems with the database.
These data were indeed shared with our group by the American author for a re-analysis (she sent excel files).
When looking at the databases a lot of lines in the files corresponding to patients seemed to have been copy/pasted (e.g. a series of patients had the exactly the same temperature at different time points / idem for parasitemias etc.). This is not possible.
When we called to retract the paper, a colleague was threatened by lawyers (concerning copyright of the database) and we are no longer able to share the database with the editor. We were asked to delete the link and therefore have asked the editor to do so.
However, the authors showed their database to journalists covering there research and you can see that some lines are repeated in one of the database (see video, after 31 seconds):…
(acceded: 07/02/2020)
You can see the copy/paste pattern of each line
Then, the editor temporary removed the two letters to the editor...
Concerning the letters to the editor, the 1st one has been removed by the editor and then reappeared :…
The second was also "temporary removed".…
The retraction notice of this letter only states : "The publisher regrets that this article has been temporarily removed. A replacement will appear as soon as possible in which the reason for the removal of the article will be specified, or the article will be reinstated.
It was in June 2019...
This was in line with the full @ElsevierConnect Policy on Article Withdrawal that can be found at…."
Here we have informed ANSM, and all our university integrity committees. None was able to do something. However, I think that this story deserves coverage.
@lemondefr @LeFigaro_Sante @guardian @statnews @RetractionWatch @schneiderleonid @ivanoransky @pharmalot @libe @lobs
In addition, in the current context, there is a growing interest about artemisia for COVID-19. You might have heard about Madagascar president that promotes a remedy based on artemisia for COVID.
The lead investigator of the two studies detail in this thread seems to be seeking 2 millions Euros for a new "research"...…
Another investigator in France is Christian Perronne, who is an author of a retracted pre-print about hydroxychloroquine... KUDOS Christian !
Please make this thread visible as, in my opinion, it deserves coverage. @questbih @METRICStanford @Professeur_geek @hervemaison @Clara_Locher @IoanaA_Cristea
We will se if Twitter is able to correct the records faster than the journal, @ElsevierNews, French Universities, French Health Authorities...
You will love this story ;)
@MicrobiomDigest you must also be very interested.
I know that p-values have limitations... But... read the following about the table S1 showed in the previous tweets. It is in one of the two letters cited before.
"TableS1 contains many adverse effect frequencies that are multiples of five, with 17 multiples of five for 21 non-zero frequencies...
... According to a binomial distribution, the probability of 17 or more multiples of five for 21 frequencies occurring by chance is approximatively 3.4×10−9"

See here:…
p-value = 3.4*10-9
You have a nice role to play in helping us to correct the record.
@bmj_latest may also be interested.
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