Swine Influenza > Prevalence > Surveillance


On account of the high infection rate but low mortality rate in pigs, the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) does not classify swine influenza as a reportable or notifiable animal disease (OIE, 2009). Surveillance is conducted by scientific networks.

OFFLU, a network of expertise on animal influenza, has existed since 2005 when it was created jointly by the OIE and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Its objectives are:

  • to develop methodological guidance, recommendations and tools for the prevention, surveillance and control of animal influenza
  • to strengthen communication between human and veterinary medicine by exchanging data and materials
  • to publish and share scientific data
  • to offer training, especially in developing countries
  • to identify necessary scientific studies

Pigs with gulls

In Europe, the European Commission's research program funded the coordination of the European Surveillance Network for Influenza in Pigs (ESNIP). ESNIP is a union of various laboratories working with swine influenza viruses. The primary aim of ESNIP was to standardise the methods used for influenza detection and surveillance.

ESNIP2 sought to achieve a better understanding of the epidemiology of swine influenza. ESNIP3 aimed to build on the achievements of ESNIP1 and ESNIP2.

In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research funded the FluResearchNet consortium between 2007 and 2013. Its activities are focused on controlling the effects of influenza epidemics in humans and animals in order to reduce the risk of future pandemics. Today, FluResearchNet is an open network for all scientists working with influenza viruses in Germany.

Reference Centre for Swine Influenza

In September 2011, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) assumed the role of Reference Centre for Swine Influenza designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

In the event of an actual or suspected outbreak of swine influenza, the FLI carries out the initial pathogen diagnosis and typing at the request of the countries concerned. In addition, it provides the FAO with assistance in the surveillance and control of these infections, as well as in the quality assurance of diagnostic methods and harmonization with other reference laboratories.

Further up-to-date, reliable information on influenza activity in humans in Germany can be found on the websites of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Influenza (AGI) and the Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI).