Dossier Epidemiology of Respiratory Viruses

To assess the epidemiology of respiratory viruses at a global, regional and national level, Nivel and related research groups have initiated a series of research projects. In this dossier we have clustered the work and findings of these research projects and all relevant publications.


Nivel's dossier Epidemiology of Respiratory Viruses consists of several research sections, which contain projects information and publications. Below an overview and status of the projects and results.

The FluCov Dashboard: understanding the global impact of SARS-CoV-2 on influenza


The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019 had a major impact on the global circulation of respiratory viruses, including influenza. In order to understand the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on influenza activity worldwide, the FluCov Dashboard (short for 'Influenza-COVID-19') offers you a clear view of the current and past circulation of both viruses (since 2019), in a wide range of countries all over the world. Real-time weekly surveillance weekly data are downloaded continuously, for a wide representative sample of range of contextual and geographical representative countries. The FluCov Dashboard is one of the deliverables of the FluCov Research Project.

Section: InfluenzaSection: Influenza

The research projects in this section cover a very wide range of issues related to the epidemiology of influenza. These range from the epidemiology of influenza B to burden of disease estimates. Some of the studies cover a single country (e.g. Kenya), some a region (e.g. Europe) and others are global in nature. Taken together, they aim to better describe the epidemiology of influenza.

Publications Influenza - Epidemiology of influenza B
  • 2019 | The epidemiological signature of influenza B virus and its B/Victoria and B/Yamagata lineages in the 21st century. Caini S, Kusznierz G, Garate VV, Wangchuk S, Thapa B, de Paula Júnior FJ, Ferreira de Almeida WA, Njouom R, Fasce RA, Bustos P, Feng L, Peng Z, Araya JL, Bruno A, de Mora D, Barahona de Gámez MJ, Pebody R, Zambon M, Higueros R, Rivera R, Kosasih H, Castrucci MR, Bella A, Kadjo HA, Daouda C, Makusheva A, Bessonova O, Chaves SS, Emukule GO, Heraud JM, Razanajatovo NH, Barakat A, El Falaki F, Meijer A, Donker GA, Huang QS, Wood T, Balmaseda A, Palekar R, Arévalo BM, Rodrigues AP, Guiomar R, Lee VJM, Ang LW, Cohen C, Treurnicht F, Mironenko A, Holubka O, Bresee J, Brammer L, Le MTQ, Hoang PVM, El Guerche-Séblain C, Paget J; Global Influenza B Study team. PLoS One: 2019, 14(9)
  • 2015 | Epidemiological and virological characteristics of influenza B: results of the global influenza B study. Caini S, Huang QS, Ciblak MA, Kusznierz G, Owen R, Wangchuk S, Henriques CM, Njouom R, Fasce RA, Yu H, Feng L, Zambon M, Clara AW, Kosasih H, Puzelli S, Kadjo HA, Emukule G, Heraud JM, Ang LW, Venter M, Mironenko A, Brammer L, Mai le TQ, Schellevis F, Plotkin S, Paget J. Influenza Other Respir Viruses: 2015, 9(Sup. 1), 3-12
Publications Influenza - Severity of infections by virus type, subtype and lineage
Publications Influenza - Europe
Publications Influenza - World wide
Publications Influenza - Role of meteorological factors on influenza activity
Publications Influenza - National Influenza Technical Advisory Groups (NiTAGs)
Publications Influenza - New forms of surveillance
Publications Influenza - Impact of vaccination on morbidity and mortality
Publications Influenza - PhD's

Section: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)Section: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

The research projects in this section cover national burden estimates of RSV and the role of meteorological factors on RSV activity. The first two papers are international studies and the third one is an analysis performed for the Netherlands.

Publications RSV - Burden estimates
Publications RSV - Role of meteorological factors on RSV activity
Publications RSV - PhD's

Section: COVID-19Section: COVID-19

The research projects in this section cover the issue of COVID-19 mortality, the link between influenza vaccination and COVID-19, and serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

  • Publications:
Publications COVID-19 - Mortality
Publications COVID-19 - Effects of the influenza vaccination on COVID-19
Publications COVID-19 - Serological testing

Section: Surveillance (European Influenza Surveillance Scheme: EISS)Section: Surveillance (European Influenza Surveillance Scheme: EISS)

The EISS project was part of efforts to create a European influenza surveillance system that were initiated in the mid-1980s. The first project was called the Eurosentinel scheme (1987-1991) and this was followed by the ENS-CARE Influenza Early Warning Scheme (1991-1994), the European Influenza Early Warning and Surveillance Scheme (1995) and EISS (1996-2008).The EISS project was hosted by Nivel from 1999 to 2008, before it was transferred to ECDC on 2 September 2008. The surveillance network is now called the European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISN).

The EISS project began with the participation of seven countries: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, and grew into a network that covered 26 of the 27 EU countries, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Ukraine during the 2006-2007 season.

  • Publications:
Publications Surveillance - Seasonal reports
Publications Surveillance - Technical reports
Publications Surveillance - Virological reports
Publications Surveillance - Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Publications Surveillance - Public health commentaries
Publications Surveillance - Annual Reports
Publications Surveillance – Weekly Electronic Bulletins

Section: Influenza VaccinationSection: Influenza Vaccination

The research projects in this section cover the issue of measuring and monitoring influenza vaccination coverage and identifying the right time to vaccinate in a country (Kenya) or region (e.g. Europe or North Africa and the Middle East). The work in the last section (‘When to vaccinate in the tropics/ subtropics’) was led by WHO HQ.

  • Publications:
Publications Influenza Vaccination - Coverage
Publications Influenza Vaccination - When to vaccinate
Publications Influenza Vaccination - Antimicrobial Resistance


We would like to thank the funders for supporting us with this work. The funders include: European Commission, WHO HQ, WHO Euro, CDC, Sanofi Pasteur, AstraZeneca, the Fondation de France and Nivel (internal research grants), Roche and GSK (which partly funded the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme).

Nivel project teamNivel project team

The Nivel project team consists of:


  • Jojanneke van Summeren MSc, researcher RSV ComNet Nivel
  • Saverio Caini, MD, PhD, EPIET, guest researcher Nivel; medical doctor specialized in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine and a medical epidemiologist

Want to know more?Want to know more?

For more information on this topic, please feel free to get in touch with the Nivel expert(s) involved. You will find them on the right, together with the (future) Nivel deliverables (publications) and other relevant content.


Summeren, J. van . Dossier Epidemiology of Respiratory Viruses. From: [Last update 08-March-2024; consulted on 22-July-2024]. URL: