Second Joint ECDC/WHO Europe influenza meeting

30 May 2012 - 1 Jun 2012
Warsaw, Poland

On 30 May - 1 June ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe (Regional Office) organise a joint annual influenza meeting in Warsaw for the countries in Western, Central and South Eastern Europe.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe (Regional Office) coordinate surveillance and other activities related to the prevention and mitigation of influenza in the European Region. On 30 May – 1 June 2012, they will undertook a joint meeting in Warsaw for the countries in Western, Central and South Eastern Europe. Though based around a core of virological and public health surveillance, these meetings also cover other influenza topics. This year’s meeting focused especially on influenza immunisation.

Main objectives of the meeting:

  • Provide a situation update on the 2011/2012 influenza season, with respect to epidemiology, virology and vaccination;
  • Review developments in the TESSy and Euroflu influenza surveillance platforms.

Meeting agenda and presentations




Wednesday 30 May 2012

Session 1

Plenary session

Introduction and European Surveillance 2011/2012 (Chairmen: Prof. Miroslaw J. Wysocki, MD, PhD, Director General of National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene and Assoc. Prof. Rafal Gierczynski, PhD, Deputy Director for Epidemiology and Microbiology)

Welcome and opening (Caroline Brown and Andrew Amato Gauci) Introduction welcome (Prof. Miroslaw J. Wysocki, MD, PhD, Director General of National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene)

The annual Risk Assessment and overview of the season (Angus Nicoll)

 SARI surveillance in 2011 - 2012 (Tamara Meerhoff)

 Season 2011/12 overview of virological surveillance (CNRL; John McCauley)

 TESSy support (Silvia Sarbu)


Session 2


Session 2a. Epidemiology (Chair Siri Hauge)

 Epidemic thresholds – first year of piloting, next steps (Julien Beauté)

 Qualitative indicators (Tamara Meerhoff) and  report on the recent Copenhagen meeting (Tomas Vega, Caroline Brown, Angus Nicoll)


 Is any change in EU & WHO ILI Case Definitions Justified (A review of data from Spain two years on from Sofia) (Amparo Larrauri)


Session 2b. Virology (Chair: Sylvie van der WerfOverview of the activities of the laboratory network and forward look (WHO CC, CNRL, ECDC, WHO EURO)

 2008 and 2010 EQA comparative analysis (Catherine Thompson)

 EQAP review (Dmitriy Pereyaslov)

 Lab cap database (Flaviu Plata)

 Division to 2 discussion groups and definition of objectives of the groups (Sylvie van der Werf)

Discussion Session 2b-1. Chair: C.BrownStatus of the laboratory network and forward look (laboratory network, WHO CC, CNRL, ECDC, WHO EURO)

Discussion Session 2b-2. Chair: E.BrobergStatus of the laboratory network and forward look (laboratory network, WHO CC, CNRL, ECDC, WHO EURO)

Session 3

Plenary Session – Serology (Chair: Thedi Ziegler)

 Serology and seroepidemiology, report from December and May (John Wood and Maria Van Kerkhove)

Session 4



Plenary Session – Immunisation (Chair: Angus Nicoll) Vaccine coverage/policies in the participating countries (Darina O’Flanagan)


 SAGE recommendations (Caroline Brown)

 Effectiveness monitoring 2011-2012, report from I-Move meeting and further work to be done (I-MOVE Esther Kissling)


Introduction to the WGs virology:  group 1,  2,  3,  4




Thursday, 31 May 2012

Session 5

Working groups

Session 5a

Severe disease surveillance (Chair: Joan O’Donnell) A proposal for severe disease surveillance (Julien Beauté)

Country experiences with severe disease surveillance and future plans.  Spain (Amparo Larrauri),  UK (N.Bodington),  Romania (Odette Nicolae)

Session 5b

Virus characterisation (Chair Brunhilde Schweiger) A.  Performance of virus isolation during 2011-2012 Susceptibility of red blood cells (Martina Havlickova)(2)  Virus isolation efficacy (Thedi Ziegler)

B. Antigenic characterisation matters during 2011-2012(1)  The national reference centre perspective (Brunhilde Schweiger)(2)  The WHO-CC perspective (John McCauley)

C. Influenza virus serology(1) Comparison of microneutralization protocols – detection of antibodies against  A(H1N1)pdm09 (Sylvie van der Werf)(2)  Anti-A(H3N2)-antibodies analysed by HI and MN during 2011-2012 (Martina Havlickova  

Session 5c

Molecular diagnosis & sequencing (Chair: Olav Hungnes)A.  Tools & strategies for discovering unusual influenza viruses, e.g. H3N2v.

B.  Prospects for multiplexing 

C.  Molecular standards & controls - status, objectives, actions

D.  Status of European influenza sequence sharing

E. Reference sequence sharing outside GISAID - needs, actions

Session 5d

Antiviral susceptibility (Chair: Adam Meijer)A.  Antiviral reporting 2011-2012;data quality, completeness, overview season (Adam Meijer)

B.  Antiviral susceptibility testing guidance; dissemination plan (Francisco Pozo Sánchez

C.  Changes to AV metadataset; Addition of interpretation variables (Adam Meijer)

D.  AVR analysis tools in TESSy;  Progress, use, and further development (Daniel Faensen)

E.  Use of reference virus panel; Availability, composition, back reporting (Angie Lackenby)

F. Antiviral EQA requirements; next panel composition (with 5e) (Thanos Kossyvakis)

Session 5e

Quality & training (Chair: Catherine Thompson) A.  Introduction, aims and format of session (CT)

B.  EQA certificate of participation (CT)

C. European national EQA providers (CT)

D.  Open discussion to develop long-term EQA and training plan & coordinated capacity building needs (WHO EURO, ECDC, CNRL) (CT/EB – group discussions)a. EQA problem solvingb. Feedback on EQA problem solving and key questions of EQA and training (ALL)

E. Antiviral EQA requrements (with TG3)

Session 6

6a. Mortality estimation (Chair Richard Pebody) Influenza-associated mortality estimation in Croatia (Jens Nielsen)

 Influenza-associated mortality estimation in Portugal (Baltazar Nunes)

 The Global Pandemic Mortality Burden project (GLaMOR).  (John Paget)

 Estimating and reporting influenza mortality in Europe: Proposal from a post-Slovenia paper (Richard Pebody)


6b. Finalisation of 2012-2013 metadata changes; virology plenary (Chair: Maria Zambon)

Characterisation reporting by week of specimen collection starting next season and proposal for analysis plan and reports; agreement on metadata and analysis plan by network (Olav Hungnes)


 Antiviral reporting changes, agreement on metadata (Adam Meijer)


 Analysis plan for bulletins and required changes for online reports for 2012-2013 (Katarina Prosenc)


Session 7

7a. Risk assessment, early season paper (Chair: Angus Nicoll)

 Risk assessment season 2011-2012 (Angus Nicoll)

7b. Proposals for future reporting changes (Chair: John McCauley)

Future proposal for reporting changes:

 Dominant virus reporting and an overview of virological testing in the Region (Tomas Vega) Age group-based reporting of detection data, including RSV with an example on data analysis from Norway (Olav Hungnes) Strain-based reporting of antigenic and genetic characterisations (Eeva Broberg) Proposal for metadata structure for strain-based reporting , amendments to INFLANTIVIR (Adam Meijer)


Future sequence sharing:TESSy’s model (Daniel Faensen) GISAID’s view (Rod Daniels)


Proposals for future virology metadata changes; possible decisions

Session 8

Plenary Session – (Chairs: Bruno Lina and Isabelle Bonmarin) Analysis of regional antiviral and clinical data (Caroline Brown)

 Summary of session 7b: Characterisation reporting, link with the clinical data; discussion with epidemiologists (Eeva Broberg)


Session 9

Plenary Session –Clinical Aspects (Chair: Piotr Kramarz)

 Keynote lecture:  What Data and Analyses do Clinician’s Need (George Dimopoulos, European Respiratory Society)




Friday, 1 June 2012

Session 10

Preparation of WG slides

Max 5 slides, max 10 min talks; summarising the action points of WGs

Session 11

Plenary Session (Chair: Caroline Brown) Keynote lecture: The influenza year in review (Sylvie Briand – WHO Geneva)

Session 12

Plenary Session – Reporting from the WG (Chair: Gé Donker)

 Epidemic thresholds and case definition WG (Silke Buda)

 Qualitative indicators (Tomas Vega)

 Severe disease surveillance WG (Angus Nicoll)

 Mortality estimation WG (Rita Born)

 Risk assessment (Françoise Wuillaume)


Session 13

Report from the TG (Chair: Rod Daniels)

 Summary of  session 2b (virology) (J.Ellis, N.Goddard & D.Peryaslov)

Summary of session 6b (metadata changes) (M. Redlberger-Fritz)

 Summary of session 5e (quality & training) (Catherine Thompson)

 Summary of session 5b (virus characterisation) (Brunhilde Schweiger

 Summary of session 5c (molecular diagnosis & sequencing TG 2) (Olav Hungnes)

 Summary of session 5d (antiviral susceptibility) (Adam Meijer)


Session 14

 Closing remarks and forward look (Angus Nicoll and Caroline Brown)