Authors: Mollers M, Barnadas C, Broberg EK, Penttinen P, Teirlinck AC, Fischer TK; European Influenza Surveillance Network
This survey demonstrates that almost all EU/EEA Member States have surveillance activities related to RSV. However, objectives of the surveillance vary between countries. In order to prepare for the possible introduction of RSV vaccines onto European markets, RSV surveillance should be strengthened and surveillance objectives need to be well-established. If the current primary aim is to determine seasonality, trends and to increase understanding of RSV, as pointed out as goals by the majority of responders, the surveillance systems should include both epidemiological and laboratory components and be applied as systematically as possible throughout the year. However, for the burden and risk group estimations needed before and after introducing vaccination programmes, more comprehensive studies would be required that are not necessarily continuous. The current pre-vaccination era should be used to obtain valid baselines for RSV burden and molecular epidemiological profiles, including the variability of antigenic sites targeted by vaccination, in order to effectively monitor post-immunisation changes. Once a vaccine is introduced, surveillance has an essential role to play in monitoring its impact and potential vaccine-induced changes in the circulating viruses and in informing policymakers.
Euro Surveillance : Bulletin Europeen Sur Les Maladies Transmissibles = European Communicable Disease Bulletin