The purpose of the programme is to carry out collaborative and interdisciplinary research in the field relating to the surveillance, prevention and control of those communicable diseases that have a greater impact on the community. Communicable diseases are understood as being those diseases that are transmitted by specific infectious agents or their toxins and can be transmitted from a person, animal or inanimate source to a susceptible human host.
1. Flu Surveillance, Prevention and Control
The general objective is to drive collaborative research in the study of the effectiveness of flu vaccines for preventing confirmed infection in cases of mild flu and hospitalization due to flu and flu complications, as well as the factors associated with risk group vaccination. The priority line is to drive the research on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine to reduce the burden of disease.
PREVICET groups 01 and 12, together with other CIBERESP researchers from other programmes (groups 11 and 17) are currently participating in a FIS project, PI12/02079, the purpose of which is to investigate the effectiveness of flu and 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines to prevent hospitalization due to pneumonia and the flu in the ≥65 year-old population. For this project, cases and controls are being recruited from 19 hospitals distributed in 7 Spanish Regions (Andalusia, Basque Country, Castilla y Leon, Catalonia, Community of Valencia, Madrid and Navarre). After analysing the results of the 2013-2014 season, manuscripts are being prepared to be sent to scientific journals, and the cases and controls for the second season (2014-2015) are being recruited.
Group 32 is leading a FIS project, PI13/02123, in which researchers from PREVICET Group 01 and from other CIBERESP groups (groups 11 and 28), as well as research and surveillance groups belonging to all the regions of Spain are also participating. This project considers the use of already established surveillance and healthcare structures to provide critical information in public health decision-making in connection with flu prevention strategies. This project is supported by the prior experience of several of the research groups that have been involved in the European I-MOVE (Influenza monitoring vaccine effectiveness in the European Union and European Economic Area) network since 2008 for monitoring the effectiveness of the flu vaccine in Europe. The objective of the FIS project is to evaluate the protective value of the flu vaccine against mild flu cases in which reporting primary care physicians are consulted and against the risk of hospitalization due to a serious case of flu confirmed in hospitalised patients. The information provided will be useful for strengthening the decisions that are made with respect to the annual flu vaccine immunization campaigns in Spain.
2. Vaccine-preventable Diseases having a Viral or Bacterial Aetiology
The general objective is to enhance collaborative research on measles, mumps, rubella, and meningococcal disease to improve epidemiological surveillance and control by means of vaccination programmes.
With respect to the mumps, the situation is quite different because the incidence is much higher due to lower vaccination effectiveness. However, in meningococcal and pneumococcal diseases current vaccines do not cover all serogroups.
A collaborative project granted in the FIS 2011 (project PI11/02557) call for proposals has been carried out. Researchers from groups G01, G11 and G12, and from the Paediatric Infectious Disease Research Group of Hospital San Juan de Dios de Esplugues participated in this project. The objective was to investigate sources of infection and secondary transmission rates for whooping cough in Catalonia and Navarre.
3. Epidemic Outbreaks
The general objective is to provide further knowledge about epidemic outbreaks occurring in the community, the associated factors and the effectiveness of the implemented prevention and control measures. The priority lines are to: investigate the characteristics, associated factors and costs of outbreaks of communicable diseases having a significant impact on the community, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented control measures.
4. Tuberculosis (TB)
TB is an old disease that still represents a public health issue because the innovations in TB are limited: treatments and diagnostic tests dating back more than 40 years are still being used. Fortunately, a few novelties have been introduced in recent years: the determination of interferon as an alternative to the conventional tuberculin skin test to diagnose tuberculous infection, or the GenXpert test for the rapid diagnosis of cases, as well as a drug for the treatment of patients with drug resistances. The general objective of the subprogramme is to relate research and control as a means of improving the epidemiological situation of TB in Spain.
5. Viral Hepatitis Surveillance, Prevention and Control
The general objective is to conduct collaborative research in the field of viral hepatitis surveillance, prevention and control.
6. Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases
Emerging diseases are those which did not exist in our geographical area (rabies, Chikungunya, Ebola, lymphogranuloma venereum, among others), and re-emerging diseases are diseases that already existed but in recent years have experienced an increase in incidence (whooping cough, gonorrhoea, syphilis). The general objective is to evaluate the impact of emerging and re-emerging diseases on public health in Spain.
7. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
The incidence of STIs is increasing in Europe, especially in large cities where the influence of transmission between certain groups of men who have sex with men (MSM) is noted. The general objectives are to improve epidemiological knowledge of STIs in the general population and in vulnerable groups, improve prevention and control and adapt reporting systems.
See spanish website for furher information about research groups participating in this program.