Project
Completed
2018

GIBS: Global Epidemiology of Influenza B, 2012-2018

Duration: Nov 2014 - Sep 2018

Background
GIBS is launched in 2012 and its aim is to collect information on the epidemiology and burden of disease of influenza B in the world during the past 10-15 years, in order to support prevention policies in the coming years. The GIBS is part of the Global Influenza Initiative (GII), an expert scientific forum that aims to address ongoing problems related to influenza worldwide.

Aim
The overall research question of GIBS is to assess differences in the epidemiology of influenza B and A worldwide, paying special attention to differences seen between countries in temperate regions compared to the tropics. Specific research questions include:
- the global burden of influenza B (overall and compared to influenza A)
- the frequency of influenza B vaccination mismatches
- the spatiotemporal patterns of influenza B and A in temperate and tropical countries
- the age distribution of influenza B and A.

Methodology
Over fifty countries in the Northern and Southern hemispheres and the inter-tropical belt were contacted and invited to join the GIBS study from June 2013 to February 2016. All countries were asked to make data available originating from their national influenza surveillance system during recent years (ideally from 2000-2013).

Participating countries
As of December 2018, thirty-one countries around the world had joined the project by providing by providing influenza surveillance data: Argentina (province of Santa Fe), Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Vietnam.
The GIBS database includes 1,850,358 cases of influenza, of which 23.0% are B. Information on age was available for 44% of cases in the database (dated 2018).

Results
We share our research and its results in providing access to the posters, oral presentations and scientific papers on the subject. Go to https://www.nivel.nl/en/international-projects/gibs



SUB PROJECT: The 2016-1018 Work Plan

In 2016-2018 we focus on the preparation of four scientific papers:
- Assess the possible link between the timing of influenza activity and global warming: is influenza activity peaking at later date in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere and Inter-Tropical Belt?
- Investigate the epidemiology of influenza A and B (including spatio-temporal patterns of influenza epidemics) in countries of the Northern Africa and Middle East region;
- Cross-validate the publically available WHO FluNet database with data collected by GIBS using a number of database metrics;
- State-of-the-art paper on the epidemiology of influenza B: collation of the findings from all of the GIBS studies (2013-2018).

Method
Epidemiological and virological surveillance data from thirty countries around the world.

Result
Four scientific papers and the completion of a PhD at the Free University of Amsterdam (Saverio Caini).
Funding
Sanofi Pasteur SA, France
Project partners
Sanofi Pasteur SA, France