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Diagnostics and Surveillance

European Surveillance Network for Influenza in Pigs

EC contribution
: € 269 984
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/01/1999
: Concerted Action
: Influenza, swine, surveillance, epidemiology, evolution, diagnosis, publichealth risk
Project Number
: QLK2-CT-2000-01636


A network of laboratories working in the field of swine influenza was established and harmonised swine influenza diagnostic tests. Using these tests a preliminary surveillance of influenza in pigs was performed, and swine influenza viruses isolated in the last decennia were further characterised antigenically and genetically.


Swine influenza viruses (SIVs) are enzootic in swine dense regions of Europe and they are a major cause of respiratory disease in fattening pigs. Until recently, however, there was no organised surveillance for influenza viruses of swine, as is the case for human and equine influenza viruses. In addition, there was no standardisation of diagnostic techniques or of the techniques used for antigenic and genetic characterisation of swine influenza virus (SIV) strains. Because of this lack of organisation and harmonisation of SIV surveillance, it was difficult to make recommendations for the control of SIV in Europe, and for the selection of vaccine strains in particular. These needs have led to the submission of a proposal for an EC concerted action by researchers from several European countries.

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