European Network for Hepatitis B and C Surveillance

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The European Network for Hepatitis B and C Surveillance comprises the contact points for Hepatitis B and C surveillance that are nominated by the competent bodies for surveillance in EU/EFTA, and includes both epidemiology and virology experts. It aims to improve collaboration, build capacity and facilitate dissemination of information on hepatitis B and C to inform public health policy and planning across Europe. 

From 2011 onwards the enhanced surveillance data on hepatitis B and C has been collected annually and is submitted to the European Surveillance System (TESSy) by the national surveillance contact points in the Member States. 

Main activities

• Improve epidemiological data around hepatitis B and C across Europe

• Collection of annual enhanced surveillance data from European countries

• Production of routine surveillance reports 

• Publications based around relevant themes

• Development of alternative sources of epidemiological data for hepatitis B and C

Epidemiological objectives

To monitor:

  • The incidence  and routes of transmission of  newly diagnosed cases of hepatitis B and C in the general and vulnerable populations; 
  • the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B and C virus infection to determine burden of infection (and estimate the proportion undiagnosed) in the general and vulnerable populations;
  • the proportion of chronic hepatitis B and C cases that are engaged in care (continuum of care);
  • the proportion of newly diagnosed chronic hepatitis B and C  presenting late.

To determine:

  • The genotype and sequence  distributions  of newly acquired hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses to better follow transmission patterns, the emergence of resistance and vaccine escape mutants and potentially more virulent virus strains (priority on hepatitis C infections);
  • and describe the proportion of co-infections (HIV/HBV/HCV/HDV)nd describe the proportion of co-infections (HIV/HBV/HCV/HDV);
  • the proportion of HCV re-infections  (especially among key risk groups with high incidence e.g. PWIDs)

Programme objectives

  • To provide data to inform, strengthen and improve the development, evaluation and monitoring of national and EU level hepatitis B and C primary prevention and control programmes (e.g. vaccination, harm reduction);
  • To monitor the burden of chronic hepatitis B and C infection and their continuum of care to inform, strengthen and improve the development, evaluation and monitoring of secondary prevention programmes (e.g. screening and high quality care pathways);
  • To  identify emerging population groups at risk (and changes over time) and in need for targeted prevention measures;
  • To report on patient safety from healthcare associated infection and  healthcare worker safety from occupational transmission;
  • To better describe the prevalence of hepatitis in vulnerable populations – for Hepatitis B: especially MSM, IDU, CSW, migrants and for Hepatitis C: especially IDU, prisoners, blood and blood product recipients, migrants;
  • To detect and monitor any multi-state outbreaks of viral hepatitis with respect to source, time, person, population and place in order to provide a rationale for public health action.