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ESNIP 2


Diagnostics and Surveillance

European Surveillance Network for Influenza in Pigs 2

EC contribution
: € 300 000
Duration
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/01/2006
Instrument
: Coordination Action
Keywords
: Influenza, swine, surveillance, evolution, diagnosis, public health risk
Project Number
: SSPE-CT-2005-022749
Web-site
: www.esnip.ugent.be

Summary:

The European Surveillance Network for Influenza in Pigs (ESNIP) 2 will maintain and expand a surveillance network that was established during a previous EC concerted action (ESNIP, QLK2-CT-2000-01636). Three work packages (WP 1, 2, 3) aim at a better understanding of the epidemiology and evolution of swine influenza virus (SIV) in different European countries, through an organised surveillance programme together with antigenic/genetic characterisation using standardised methodology. These data will be used to improve the diagnosis of SIV by updating the reagents used in classical techniques (WP 4) and by the development of a rapid, molecular test for SIV detection (WP 5).

The virus bank and electronic database that were established during ESNIP will also be expanded with relevant SIV isolates and information (WP 6). Beyond this, we will be better able to define the public health risks of influenza in swine. This will be achieved by serological monitoring of swine for avian influenza viruses (WP 7) and by comparison of the influenza viruses that are currently circulating in swine, avian species and humans (WP 8). ESNIP 2 represents the only organised surveillance network for influenza in pigs and the first attempt to establish formal interactions with human and avian surveillance networks.

These initiatives and interactions are entirely consistent with improved pandemic preparedness and planning for human influenza. The consortium consists of 11 participants who are actively working with SIV. Eight participants are from seven different EU Member States, five of which have been actively involved in the ESNIP network whilst one participant is from Bulgaria, a candidate Member State (at the time of the project start date). Participation from third countries (Hong Kong, USA) will facilitate greater global interaction and worldwide understanding of the epidemiology of SIV. Comparisons of swine populations in Europe and in southern China, the classical epicentre for influenza, for the circulation of avian influenza viruses will prove invaluable and permit technology and knowledge exchange.

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