Federal Influenza Centre

The Federal Influenza and ARI Centre (FIC) at RII is one of the principal bodies involved in coordination of influenza surveillance in Russia. Head of FIC — Andrey V. Vasin, PhD, Director of RII.

The main goal of FIC is to analyze current epidemic situation, recognize etiological nature of ILI cases for early detection of a new epidemic/pandemic start and provide immediate recommendations, ensuring timely preventive and therapeutic measures to be realized for the community.

The functions of FIC include epidemiologic and etiologic monitoring of influenza activity in Russia, based on accumulation and subsequent analysis of influenza morbidity, virus isolation and laboratory diagnosis data, submitted by RBLs involved into the Russian influenza surveillance network. Data exchange and processing between FIC and RBLs is carried out all year round on daily and weekly basis either conventionally by e-mail or by using dedicated influenza surveillance software, designed at RII.

The summarized epidemic and etiologic information is reported to the RF Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation, Rospotrebnadzor and other relevant state healthcare authorities on weekly and annual basis and contributes to the influenza-related policy decisions in the country, including selection of strains for influenza vaccine composition. The surveillance information is provided to WHO GISRS through the National Influenza Centre.

 Russian Influenza Surveillance System Diagram

Etiologic surveillance, conducted jointly with 49 FIC-affiliated RBLs, is vital for the determination and identification of a new antigenic influenza virus variant, as well as the assessment of its potency and antiviral resistance. Advanced antigenic and genetic analysis of isolates, forwarded by RBLs, is performed. All RBLs are supplied with laboratory diagnosis kits based on standardized diagnostic reagents, developed at RII.

Inter-Regional Meetings for RBL specialists are held at RII every 2 years to discuss results, prospects and challenges of influenza surveillance in Russia. Within the Meeting framework training courses in virology and epidemiology are provided.

FIC activity reports and recommendations are issued in the form of guidelines for strengthening influenza epidemiologic and laboratory surveillance. FIC staff greatly contributed into the National Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan and Emergency Plan for Antiepidemic Measures in Russia.