The European Surveillance Network for Influenza in
“European Surveillance Network for Influenza in
Pigs (ESNIP) 2” is a co-ordination action in the
6th Framework Research Programme of the European
Swine influenza viruses (SIVs) are enzootic in
swine dense regions of Europe and they are a major
cause of respiratory disease in fattening pigs.
Pigs are also susceptible to human and avian
influenza viruses. Unlike for human or equine
influenza viruses, however, there have never been
organised surveillance networks for influenza
viruses of swine. Also, there was no
standardisation of diagnostic techniques for SIV or
of the methods used to study the evolution of SIVs.
These shortcomings were already tackled in a first
EC-funded European surveillance network for
influenza in pigs (ESNIP 1, January 2001 – March
2004), which comprised 14 partners from 10
different European countries.
The present ESNIP 2 action is in part a
continuation of ESNIP 1. It aims to further expand
the knowledge of the epidemiology and evolution of
SIVs in Europe and to apply this knowledge to
optimize diagnostic techniques for swine influenza.
A second and timely aim is to obtain insights into
the public health risk of influenza in swine by
monitoring swine for avian influenza viruses and by
comparison of influenza viruses in swine and in
human populations. The ESNIP 2 consortium consists
of 10 participants. Nine partners are from eight
different EU member states, one from Hong Kong and
collaboration with a US respectively. Participation
from Hong Kong and collaboration with the US will
facilitate greater global interactions and a
worldwide understanding of the epidemiology of SIV.
is co-ordinated by Kristien Van Reeth at Ghent
University, Belgium (kristien.vanreeth@UGent.be).