Influenza Surveillance System in Russia

Update 02.07.2014 — Digest covering various aspects of influenza surveillance and research in Russia during 2009–2013 epidemic seasons is available for download:

Digest of Influenza Surveillance in Russia, Seasons 2009–2013

Influenza Surveillance System in Russia was established in the late 60s and early 70s to maintain control of influenza virus circulation throughout the country. In 1971 it became a component of the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), formerly GISN, which was established in the middle of the 20th century. The necessity of an efficient global tool against influenza arose following the discovery that the viruses were undergoing constant mutations, thus causing regular occurrence of influenza sporadic cases, outbreaks and epidemics worldwide.

Today, influenza surveillance in Russia is managed within the framework of the Federal Influenza and ARI Centre (FIC) at the Research Institute of Influenza (RII), St. Petersburg, and the Centre of Influenza Ecology and Epidemiology (CIEE) at the D. I. Ivanovsky Research Institute of Virology (IVI), Moscow. Both institutions perform functions of the National Influenza Centres (NICs) involved into the WHO GISRS. Surveillance activities are conducted in collaboration with the national network of 59 Regional Base Labs (RBLs), 49 of which are assigned to RII and 10 to IVI. This network covers almost the entire territory of Russia and ensures efficient monitoring of virus circulation.

Regional Base Lab Network Map

The current system of national influenza surveillance allows researchers to timely recognize seasonal and pandemic influenza events, determine influenza morbidity values, assess epidemic pattern and future spread tendencies, and forecast viral agent evolutional trends, based on antigenic and genetic analysis. The latter helps in working out recommendations on vaccine strain composition for future epidemic seasons and developing appropriate prevention and response measures against influenza.

FIC and CIEE duties are regulated by the Federal Service on Customers Rights Protection and Human Well-Being Surveillance (Rospotrebnadzor).